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 Anatomy, Embryology and Kechari Mudra
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1275 Posts

Posted - Sep 17 2007 :  09:12:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
"Comparative anatomy reveals that homo sapiens has the most elaborately ennervated tongue of all lifeforms. That this anatomical fact should be interpreted by sociobiologists as an evolutionary advantage or selective adaptation whose purpose is precise verbal atriculations is cast into the background of a far more profound bodily potential, in the light of kechari mudra. The unusually complex hypoglossal nerve gives the tongue the sensitivity and muscular-articulating capacity to stretch back toward an inner calling, this stimulating the brain/mind in its maturation beyond language-knowing toward meditative gnosis.

Embryology as well suggests that khecari mudra is part of a developmental continuity from the earliest to this most advanced stage of bodily manifestation. For we find that the timely secretion of sweet-tasting mucopolysaccharides causes the prototongue to lick itself away from the embryonic contact with the hypophysis (the rudiment of the hypothalamus and pituitary) and out of the then-forming cranial cavity and into the just-developing oral cavity. It is interesting, than, to find that after years of pranotthana, other sweet-tasting brain secretions (soma, amrita) will again draws the tongue toward further bodily maturations in khecari mudra. This time, the sweetness guides the tongue back behind the soft palate proximal to the hypothalamic appetitive-drive satiety center and the pituitary developmental master gland."

-- Stuart Sovatsky, Words From the Soul, p. 168

Edited by - bewell on Sep 17 2007 09:15:11 AM


549 Posts

Posted - Sep 17 2007 :  12:04:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit anthony574's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
My father was addicted to PCP when I was a young child and I was having a conversation with him about it a few weeks ago. I know that PCP is a type of entheogen (though not a favorable one) and I was asking him about his experiences trying to get an idea of what it is like, just out of curiosity. He is very open minded and existential, but hasn't a clue about yoga, mudras, energy vortices, or basically any energy phenomena except for what he experienced during his use of PCP and I recall him saying to me "...you just see this energy that flows through everything...and these parts of your body that energy just flows through so easily, like the roof of your mouth". I could tell he was quite suprised and intruiged when I told him that there is actually a yogic practice that focuses on that exact thing!
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530 Posts

Posted - Sep 17 2007 :  3:02:23 PM  Show Profile  Visit Kyman's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
On a side note, I did a quick search on pranotthana and found a site that had some interesting perspective.

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52 Posts

Posted - Nov 27 2023 :  3:56:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I am resurrecting this thread because I recently searched the forums for discussions on a possible evolutionary purpose of the kechari reflex, and I think what I found fits nicely to the quote of the first post above.

The back story: It happens to me now from time to time during meditation that the tongue by itself pushes slightly against the upper palate and while pushing upwards retracts backwards (it doesn't feel like it's rolling back, rather it feels like it's retracting backwards like a snail retracting into its house) until it enters stage 2. It's interesting to observe this reflex because when the tongue is doing this motion by itself it does it in an "elegant" way compared to my clumsy rolling-back way that I used so far to enter stage 2 voluntarily. Now after observing it happen a few times, I got also better at doing it voluntarily in this smooth way. The "trick" for me really seems to be to slide tongue from stage 1 into stage 2 by retracting the tongue rather then rolling it backwards. During this sliding motion the tip of the tongue never looses touch with the palate.

So I am kind of impressed that this orchestrated reflex exists in me and doing something that from an evolutionary biology point of view seems at first glance quite useless.

And then I discovered the above quote by Sovatsky that bewell cited. I searched some medical literature about the embryonic tongue development stages and it indeed seems to be true that we all do kechari a few weeks after conception
Check out these images showing a timeline of embryonic development


(from here https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26471340/ )

Between stage 14 and 21 the tongue is free (no palate yet) to push against the cranial base. In stage 21, Fig. F, (around day 52 after conception) the tongue is huge and doing a full kechari, apparently to produce the nasal cavity. It then later retracts to the mouth region after which the palate forms.

So maybe this is part of the explanation why we have this reflex?
It's certainly a fun fact.
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2162 Posts

Posted - Nov 28 2023 :  05:24:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
The "trick" for me really seems to be to slide tongue from stage 1 into stage 2 by retracting the tongue rather then rolling it backwards. During this sliding motion the tip of the tongue never looses touch with the palate.

This is what got me to stage 2 many years ago; the tongue more upright (like a cobra) and assisting with fingertips pressing against the underside base of the tongue. Knowing now I was most likely doing ketchari en utero makes me so happy
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