Did you know there’s a mudra specifically for channeling the kick ass femme within? Meet: kali mudra. The goddess Kali is perhaps one of the most fascinating and fierce deities in the whole Hindu mythology. She embodies strong feminine energy in its purest form, mastering destruction, fearlessness, and regrowth 🌱. Need some of that? LOL yoginis, who doesn’t? Tap into this tremendous energy with Kali Mudra. It has a deep cleansing effect, ridding the mind of negative thoughts and replacing anxious energy with pure power. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of this deeply empowering mudra and walk you through how to work it into your practice! ✨
What Is Kali Mudra?
Kali is an immortal fashion icon known for her razor-sharp teeth, necklace of human heads, and blood-red tongue often depicted in a ferocious roar. The accessory she won’t leave home without? A knife (of course). Despite Kali’s ferocious appearance, she’s more than just terror and destruction. Kali is a manifestation of the supreme goddess Mahadevi – the Divine Mother in this Hindu faith. Goddess Kali, also known as the “destroyer”, represents our ability to eradicate evil energy from our lives and make room for growth, positivity, and transformation. You can’t bake a cake without breaking some eggs, right? The name “Kali” is derived from the Sanskrit word “kala,” which means “time.” Her mastery of transformation is deeply connected with the cycles of growth and decay embedded in the concepts of time, creation, and birth.
Kali mudra, also called the maha kali mudra, ksepana mudra, and venus mudra in the Kundalini tradition, allows us to access this creative, powerful energy in our yoga practice. When you perform this mudra, the index fingers extend in the shape of a sword, calling upon the destruction of illusion. This gesture is often paired with powerful standing asanas and warming pranayama to activate your inner fire.
This mudra is also related to specific elements, including:
Planet: Venus and Jupiter
Element: Air and Fire
Fierce Love & Other Benefits of Kali Mudra
Kali mudra gives us the power to let go (or destroy – depending on your mood LOL!) negative energy so we can break free of the emotions that it may trigger; stress, anger, anxiety, jealousy, etc. With this simple hand gesture, we can embrace fearlessness and overcome any obstacle that gets in our way.
Here are the benefits of practicing Kali mudra in a nutshell:
- Clear negative energy and remove blockages in our nadis (energy channels). When prana flows freely through our nadis, we activate Sushumna Nadi and experience elevated consciousness and improved physical health
- Unlocks our inner strength and fuels empowerment
- Helps us to banish mental and muscular stress
- Enhances physical detoxification
- When combined with pranayama and meditation, this mudra can gift us with a calm, peaceful, and positive mental state
How To Do Kali Mudra
- Find a comfortable seated position.
To perform this hand gesture, sit in any comfortable meditation pose, such as easy pose, making sure that your spine is completely extended.
- Find your hand position.
Place your palms together and clasp the hands with all fingers interlocked. Extend the index fingers and press them together.
- Extend your arms overhead.
Holding the mudra, extend your arms overhead with the index fingers pointing toward the sky. Draw the shoulder blades together, and breathe deeply. With every inhale, feel the energy of Kali entering and filling up your body. With every exhale, allow your internal heat to burn away negative energy. Continue taking deep, slow, and conscious breaths. Hold for 5-10 minutes.
- Release and meditate.
Release the mudra and sit in meditation for a while to really feel the effects of this powerful mudra on the body and mind.
Pair These Yoga Poses With Kali Mudra
Kali mudra pairs well with powerful standing poses where the arms are extended in front of the body or overhead. If you’ve been to a Bikram class, you’ll be familiar with the standing half moon (side bend) variation performed in Kali mudra that deeply stretches the side body and strengthens the core.
Kali mudra (known as Venus Mudra in Kundalini) is often used in Kundalini yoga kriyas like the Sat Kriya. Here are some other asanas that go well with Kali mudra:
- Parsva Urdhva Hastasana (Standing side bend): stand with the feet hip-width distance apart, tuck the pelvis in and engage your core. Extend the arms up, relax the shoulders and perform Kali Mudra. Bend to either side and maintain the pose for at least 5 full, deep breath cycles.
- Anjaneyasana (High Lunge): while standing with feet together at the front of the mat, shoot either foot back, stay on the ball of the back foot, engage your core and once you feel stable, raise your arms to the sky and perform the Kali mudra. Settle into the shape and take some breaths in-out.
- Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I): Inhale and from Crescent lunge pose, plant the back foot on the mat in a 45 degrees angle. Maintain the back leg completely extended while keeping the front knee bend in line with the ankle.
- Urdhva Hastasana (Standing Salute): Inhale and stretch the arms up and back, do a gentle backbend and once you feel stable, exhale from the nose. Open the chest, activate the core and flex the lower back deeper. Make sure that the shoulders are down and away from the ears
- Utkatasana (Chair pose): While standing in the mountain pose, bring the big toes together to touch and connect the knees to each other. Bend your knees, imagine you’re sitting on a chair, and lift your arms up over the head. Ensure that the knees don’t go beyond your toes, engage your core, and gaze up. Breathe into the shape and engage your body fully.