Maha Mudra मह मुद्रा
Maha Mudra [The Great Seal]. Maha मह; great, mighty, abundant, strong; brilliance, festival, lustre, great deeds.
Initial position: on the ground, with the left leg folded so that the heel presses the perineum while the other leg is stretched out in front of the body or slightly on the side. During an exhalation, grasp the toes of the extended leg with both hands. During the inhalation, the back is stretched upward while using the hands to stretch on the foot, with the back aiming at being straight.
In the classical version, the eyes are in Maddhya Drishti, the tongue in Khechari Mudra, Mula Bandha is active, and breathing follows Visamavritti. During the full lung retention, the practitioner attempts to fuse Prana and Apana in the center of the belly. This is established by focusing on the center of the belly, and by increasing Tria Bandha (the three locks). After several breathing cycles, the practitioner switches legs.
Here, the breathing rhythm follows Bhastrika. Usually, the posture starts on the left (extended left leg) with 30 complete breathing first. Then, after an inhalation, a full lung retention is applied while effectuating Tria Bandha. Exhale, relax, inhale and while keeping the eyes closed and the air in, switch legs.
Then, a new series is done, decreasing the total number of breathing by 5, thus 25 on each side. This is followed until reaching a five breathing cycle. During these series, the full lung retention time remains constant, as well as the intensity of the focus and of the contractions. The retention last about 30 seconds during which the focus remains on the belly, and the practitioner experiences the motionless state.
When arriving to the 5 breathings cycle, the breathing is then decreased by one breathing (instead of five), while keeping the same retention length.
Finally, the breathing equals one breath time. At that level, the retention and the exacerbation of the energy are maximal.