Bandhas[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]
The Bandhas -by Andrea Brady-
There are five bandas in total, these Mula Bandah, Uddiyana Bandah and Jalandhara Bandah, Hasta Banda and Pada Banda It will be the first three which we will explore in more depth.
The Banhas can be seen as internal energy locks, these locks are used in various pranayama and asana practices to tone, cleanse and energise the interior body and organs. By engaging the bandhas we are ultimately keeping prana/energy inside of us and utilising it to gain certain yogic benefits. When all three bandhas are activated at the same time, it is called Maha Bandha, the great lock. Bandhas are magic tools that create equilibrium between the mind, body and spirit connection. When engagaing the bandhas, we can manipulate and benefit, the asanas, chakras, pranayama and meditation.
Mulabandha is the root lock. It wakes up the chakras and is seen as the master key the first of the bandhas because of its location, lifting the energy up from the root. The first of three interior body “locks” used in asana and pranayama practice to control the flow of energy. To activate mula bandha, exhale and engage the pelvic floor, drawing it upwards towards your navel. If you don’t know how to access the pelvic floor, think of it as the space between the pubic bone and the tailbone. Initially you may need to contract and hold the muscles around the anus and genitals, but really what you want is to isolate and draw up the perineum, which is between the anus and genitals. Do not hold your breath. Engaging mula bandha while doing yoga poses can give the postures an extra lift. This is especially useful when jumping.
Uddiyana bandha is the abdominal lock. It can be helpful to imagine a sense of narrowing when engaging this bandah, imagine the navel to spine which facilitates a straight spine which also protects the back. The second of the three interior body “locks” used in asana and pranayama practice to control the flow of energy. Uddiyana bandha can be practiced alone or in conjunction with mula bandha. To engage this bandha, sit in a comfortable cross legged position. Exhale your breath, then take a false inhale (draw the abdomen in and up without taking in any breath.) Draw the belly up underneath the rib cage. To release, soften the abdomen and inhale. Uddiyana bandha tones, massages and cleans the abdominal organs. If engaging mula bandha, you will see that the drawing up of the pelvic floor naturally leads into the drawing up of the abdomen or this second lock. This demonstrates how the bandhas work together.
Jalanharabandha is the throat lock. Utilising this bandha alleviates throat disorders, it activates the thyroid glands which produce calcium and it slows down brain activity. The third and last of the three interior body “locks” used in asana and pranayama practice to control the flow of energy. Jhalandara bandha can again be practiced alone or in conjunction with mula bandha and uddiyana bandha. To engage this bandha, sit in a comfortable cross legged position. Inhale so the lungs are about two-thirds full, and then hold the breath in. Drop the chin down, and then draw the chin back closer to the chest so the back of the neck does not round. Hold as long as is comfortable and then bring the chin up and release the breath. To practice in conjunction with the other two bandhas, first draw the pelvic floor upwards, engaging mula bandha. This leads to the abdomen drawing in and up under the ribcage (uddiyana bandha). Finally, the chin drops to the chest and draws back into jhalandara bandha. When practiced together, the three locks are known as Maha Bandha, the “great lock”.
Engaging the bandahs is about being present. David Swenson clarifies the complexities of using the bandhas in this quote. “Bandhas are an integral part of Ashtanga yoga but they cannot be understood through mental powers. Understanding of them will grow from these early seeds of awareness as personal practise develops”.
Bandhas -by Rebecca Minor-
Bandha is sanskrit for binding, bond or putting together. They are also known as our internal body locks. To use our bandhas is to maintain contraction of a muscle or a group of muscles during your yoga practice. There are many bandhas in the body and the three classical bandhas are the Mula Bandha, Uddiyana Bandha, Jalandhara Bandha.
The Mula Bandha may also be referred to as the root lock and is located in the muscles around the perineum area. The perineum area is the group of muscles between the anus and genitals. To lock this particular bandha, you activate it on an exhale by engaging the perineum area and drawing it up towards your navel. By locking the mula bandha we help to prevent prana leaving the body through the base of the spine during our yoga practice. Within this area lays the kundalini energy, a latent energy which is awakened by when we engage the mula bandha. Once we activate this energy it circulates through the chakras to the crown of the head.
The Uddiyana Bandha is located in the lower abdominal area. The Uddiyana bandha is considered to be the most important of the bandhas because as well as circulating prana through the body it also has a supporting and protecting role. By locking this bandha it supports our breathing and also helps to protect our lower back. To activate the uddiyana bandha it is an action of pulling in the abdomen, then in and up towards the underneath of the rib cage.
The Jalandhara Bandha is known as the chin lock. When activated the jalandhara bandha locks in air and prana within the body as well as locking nervous impulses. To activate the bandha you need to drop your head slightly tucking your chin close to the chest, raising the sternum. The tongue should be pushed up against the palate of the mouth. There are many benefits to activating the jalandhara bandha including helping to alleviate throat disorders, improving your voice, increasing prana in the thoracic region and activates thyroid gland.
When all three bandhas are activated together it is referred to as the Maha Bandha, or the great bandha. When locking all three bandhas it would usually be done in the sequence of the mula bandha followed by the uddiyana bandha and finally the jalandhara bandha. However, the sequence may differ, for example, in various forms of pranayama.
The role of the bandhas is important within yoga for a number of reasons – some of which are retaining and circulating energy, retaining heat, moving in and out of poses, supporting and protecting areas of the body and to cleanse the body.
Bandhas -by Shikma Jacoby-
The bandhas are energetic ‘locks’ that are located in different areas of the body. There are 3 major ones (Mulla, Uddiyana, Jalandhara) each one is located in a key point in the body and are very important for the practice as they are helping to regulate the energies in our bodies while we practice. The Bandhas can be used to keep and store energy or release it, two of the bandhas should be locked throughout our practice and one is dynamic- locked or open in different stages of the practice Mulla Bandha- In Sanskrit Mulla is root, base, origin, or my favorite translation- beginning. The Mulla Bandha is located between the genitals and the anus, the pelvic floor, the root of the spine.
On an energetic level the Mulla bandha is located near the Muladhara Chakra and is connected in that way to the spiritual aspects of this Chakra. The Mulla Bandha is highly important in the process of the awaking of Kundalini. This Bandha should be kept shut during practice, thou this take years the accomplish. It is recommended to do pelvic floor exercises to reactivate those muscles as we are not using them much in our daily lives. There are many benefits to have strong muscles around that area of the body.
Uddiyana Bandha- The abdominal lock. This bandha is located around the abdominal, the core. It is being engaged by pulling the abdomen in and up. The unddiyana Bandha is very important for a right practice as the muscles around the core protect the spine and preventing us from injuring it, as well practicing engaging this bandha massages and cleans the abdominal organs.
This bandha should be engaged throughout the entire practice and as well can be engage while walking, seating and doing any other activity to help build up the muscles.
Jalandhara Bandha- the throat lock- Located around the neck. Jalandhara bandha engages and tones the neck muscles and also activates and energises the 5th chakra. This bandha can be used energetically with all the asanas keeping the neck long and the throat soft while connecting the energy between the heart and the third eye.
The bandhas are an important key for a stable and strong pose, they act like a concrete foundation for our body keeping the spine protected, the center of the body strong and the energy focused in one area. They are important energetically as they help navigate the prana while practicing and keep the energetic body stable.
By engaging all 3 of the bandhas correctly we activate the Maha Bandha “The Great Bandha”.
Bandhas -By Shweta Thakur-
Bandhas stop the flow of energy in some parts of the body and flow it in other parts. This massages the internal organs and removes the accumulation of the blood. Bandha regulate the nerves of the particular organ, which prevents sickness.
There are three bandhas:
- Jalandhara Bandha
- Uddiyana bandha
- Moola bandha
Besides these three there are other two bandhas: pada bandha and hasta bandha.One can engage these two bandhas at the time of performing asanas.This will not only build stability but will also lock the energy from flowing out of the body.
Lets look at three main bandhas in detail.
Sit in Sidhasana or Padmasana and rest the knees on the ground. Keep the neck, spine and head absolutely straight.
Now keep the palms on the knees and close the eyes and let the whole body relax. Slowly take deep breath and stop it inside. Remain in the same position and keep the elbows straight and put pressure on the knees and simultaneously bend the shoulders forward and raise them slightly. Bend the head in such a manner that the chin touches the lower part of the neck, Remain in this position till you can stop the breath inside but do not stop the breath forcefully,
Keep the head straight before doing rechak and keep the shoulders in the normal position, Bend the elbows and relax. Now, exhale slowly. Repeat the asana when the respiration becomes normal.
Benefits: Thyroid, Parathyroid glands become healthy. It relieves the person from worries, anger, tension etc.
Who should not do Jalandhara bandha?
Patients of cervical, Spondalitis, pressure in the skull, giddiness, high blood pressure and heart disease should not do this bandha.
Sit in Padmasana or Sidhasana. Rest the knees on the floor, Close the eyes and relax the whole body. Perform dirghrechak (inhale deeply). Stop the breath outside and perform Bahirkumbhak. Keep the elbows straight and put pressure on the knees and bend the shoulders slightly towards the front and raise them upwards. After this perform Jalandhar bandha, Then contract the stomach muscles inside and upwards, so that the stomach takes the shape of a bow, Now remain in Bahirkumbhak and bandha position. After this slowly leave Uddiyan bandha and after some time leave Jalandhar bandha.
Now bring back the elbows and hands in normal position and in hale. Rest for a while and repeat the asana.
Benefits of Uddiyana bandha:
It cures the diseases of the stomach and abdomen, destroys the worms in the stomach, cures indigestion, gas. It regulates the stomach and improves its functioning. It massages the spleen, liver, kidney and makes them healthy. This asana has special influence on the prana (life) energy.
Who should not do Uddiyana bandha?
People suffering with wounds in the stomach or intestines, high blood pressure, hernia, colitis should not do this Bandha.
Sit in Padmasana, Take deep breath and stop the breath. Keep the hands straight and put pressure on the knees with the elbows, Now try and contract the ganglion muscles as much as you can but do not put excessive pressure. These muscles are situated between the rectum and genitals in men and in women it is located at the back of vagina, where vagina and uterus meet.
Now relax the bandha and keep the hands and elbows in normal position- Then do rechak, this can be done at the time of Bahirkumbhak as well
This Bandha gives physical, mental and spiritual benefits, It creates co-operation between the urinary, reproduction and excretory systems. It generates sex desire and cures several sexual diseases.
Bandhas -by Charlotta Lidstrom-
Bandha means to tie or bind together. The bandhas are areas of the body where muscles are contracted and controlled for strength and so that prana can spread through the body efficiently. The bandhas strengthen, protect and balance the body during the practice.
There are five main bandhas in the body, they are Moola bandha, the root lock, located at the perineum or pelvic floor, at the moola dhara chakra. It is activated by contraction of the perineal body in the male and the cervix in the female body. Moola bandha should be activated throughout the entire practice. It increases flexibility and stimulates heat, directing prana upwards, preventing it escaping from the body. Moola bandha makes you lighter lifting you from the ground.
Uddiyana bandha is located in the area between the belly button and the pelvis, close to the manipura chackra. Pulling the navel towards the spine activates Uddiyana bandha. It should be activated throughout the entire practice. Uddiyana bandha helps to balance your body, and create structure in the asanas, so prana can go everywhere in the body. It also protects the back.
Jalhandhara banda is located at the throat, at the vishuddi chakra. To activate jalhandara banda you bring the chin to the chest. It locks prana in the body, preventing from upward leakage. And it helps to create a higher concioussness. Jalandhara bandha destroys old age and death.
Pada bandha is located at the feet
Hasta bandha is located at the hands
Bandhas -by Ben Aldridge-
Bandhas:: The term bandha is related to the English word bonding and in the practice of ashtanga vinyasa, we bond breath, movement and awareness together. There are three bandhas with which we are particularly concerned in the ashtanga practice, mula bandha, uddiyana bandha and jalandhara bandha.
The first of those is mula bandha, or the root lock. By slightly drawing up the perineum we create an energetic seal that stops prana leaking out of the base of the spine. This helps move prana into the sushumna nadi. Mula bandha is held through the entire ashtanga practice and assists and supports us throughout. It can be particularly helpful in deep backbends and jump backs as well as in uttpluthi.
The second bandha is uddiyana bandha. Engaging this lock consists of contracting the transverse abdominis muscle, drawing the abdominal contents towards the spine. This has a toning effect on the internal organs but it also has the effect of increasing agni, or the internal fire, and also helps control the breath and, accordingly, consciousness. The hatha yoga pradipika states that because of uddiyana bandha, the great bird of prana flies up the sushumna nadi.
The final lock is jalandhara bandha. This is engaged by contracting the throat and pressing the chin towards the chest, locking and sealing in the prana at the top of the sushumna nadi. It is not held throughout an ashtanga practice but rather engaged in particular postures, such as dandasana. However it is often used in pranayama practices during the kumbaka or breath retention. It is said to destroy old age and death.
Engagement of mula bandha, uddiyana bandha and jalandhara bandha at once is known as maha bandha, or the great seal.
Examples of other bandhas include hasta bandha and pada bandha.
Powered by Facebook Comments