Khecarī Mudrā – The Controversial Yoga Practice of Sticking the Tongue into the Nasal Cavity

Khecarī Mudrā is an obscure and somewhat controversial yoga practice that involves gradually severing parts of the tongue and then curling it back until it enters the nasal cavity.

Can you even imagine pulling your tongue back enough for the tip to slide into the nose through the mouth? It sounds impossible, and even if you could do it, wouldn’t that pose a risk of choking? Well, diehard hatha yoga practitioners must not worry about that too much, because that’s exactly what the advanced stages of a practice called “khecarī mudrā” require. Well, that, and gradually cutting the frenulum, the small piece of skin connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth…

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In the early stages of khecarī mudrā, practitioners curl back their tongues as far back as possible so that the tip touches the soft palate at the back of the mouth or even the uvula. It seems hard to do, right now (you know you’re trying it as you read these lines), but it’s supposed to get easier as you practice. This beginning stage is applicable to most practitioners, but it’s the advanced practice that really captures people’s imagination.

True khecarī mudrā is said to seal the energy of Bindu and give yogis able to pull it off supernatural powers. But in order to attain these powers one must curl their tongue back far enough to then insert it into the nasal cavity and “lick the supreme nectar of immortality flowing there”.

Photo: Ananda Kriya Sangha/Wikimedia Commons

Sadly, that requires more than months, even years of daily practice. Sure, the tongue can be lengthened naturally so that it actually reaches behind the uvula, but in order for it to curl back enough to actually enter the nasal cavity, the lingual frenulum has to be cut.

According to a hatha yoga text quoted by Wikipedia, the frenulum has to be gradually cut, using a sharp blade. Each time, a hair’s breadth has to be cut, until, after about six months, the piece of skin is completely destroyed. Then, after another six months of constant practice, the advanced stages of khecarī mudrā can be reached, and with them, a host of supernatural benefits.


Spiritual Curiosity lists resistance to poison, diseases, old age and even death, among the benefits of khecarī mudrā. You can also expect resistance to fainting, hunger, thirst and laziness, as well as your body becoming divine. That almost makes having the frenulum cut worth it, almost.

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