Yoga bandhas are the energy lock, or a body lock is an ancient practice that is deeply ingrained in the yogic tradition. It is performed in the Yoga to dialect and regulates the flow of prana energy in the body. Every human being has a flow of energy, prana, or a life force you can say that and it is must to know how to make the use of it in a proper way. In the practice of bandhas, the energy flow is deliberately blocked of a particular area. So that when the bandha is released, it causes the energy to flow through the body channels (mainly Sushumna Nadi) with a more strong force.
It brings stability in your bodies and helps you to dissolves any emotional blockages in your body chakras hence balance your body, mind, and soul.
What is bandha in Yoga??
Each bandhas act as an energy lock that directs your energy and keeps in the body channels. It is divided mainly into four types: Mula bandha, Uddiyana bandha, Jalandhara and Maha bandha.
Every bandha is linked with a particular energy channel and direct the flow of prana or life force in these channels. Once bandha is engaged, it can be directed to the other part of the body.
The four types of yoga bandhas are :
1.Mula Bandha- The Root Lock
It is derived from the Sanskrit word Mula that means ‘root’ or precisely known as root lock. It directs the flow of energy through the center of your pelvic floor that is rectum, stimulates your pelvic muscles and makes it flow towards your naval area and refrain it from moving it downward.
- Benefits of Mula bandhas:
- It awakens your kundalini energy
- It strengthens your pelvic muscle and alleviates any sexual disorders
- It stimulates your digestive and endocrine system
2.Uddiyana Bandha- Abdominal Lock
Uddiyana means to rise Up. In this bandha, the subtle energy moves upwards forcefully through the center of the core and creates a massaging effect for your internal organs. In Uddiyana bandha, Your abdominal muscles are stimulated as they are pulled in and your chest lift upwards.
Udiyana bandhas not just lift the subtle energy but also intensify the energy from mula bandha and jalandhara bandha.
- Benefits of Uddiyana bandha:
- It energizes your heart chakra promotes the feeling of compassion and kindness
- It stimulates and uplifts the prana force
- Highly beneficial for the people suffering from constipation
- It boosts the function of adrenal glands hence relieves you from stress and anxiety
- It strengthens your abdominal muscle
Contradiction: It is best to avoid the practice of uddiyana bandha if you have an ulcer or if you are pregnant
3.Jalandhara Bandha- chin lock
Derive from the word ‘Jal’ means throat, and ‘Dhara’ means flow. This bandha restrict the upward flow of the prana and regulate the flow of energy towards your navel. It is done by bringing your chin towards your chest; hence, known as ‘chin lock.’
This bandha helps you to battle all your physical ailments with ease. It channelizes the flow of energy towards your neck hence improves the functioning of the thyroid and parathyroid gland.
- Benefits of Jalandara Bandha:
- It improves the health of your spine
- It stimulates your Vishuddhi chakra
- It improves your respiratory functions and cures you of any throat infection
Contradiction: People who are suffering from thyroid problems, spondylitis, and hypertension should avoid this Bandha
4.Maha Bandha- Great Lock
Originated from the Sanskrit word ‘Maha’ means great. This bandha is known as ‘Supreme bandha.’ This bandha is the combination of all the bandhas mentioned above hence also known as ‘Triple lock.’ It is known as maha bandha because it provides you the benefits of all the bandhas mentioned above.
It is performed by engaging Mula and jalandhara bandha together, directing your upwards and downwards energy at your navel. Then, with the help of Udiyana bandha at your belly, the subtle energies are increased to wake your prana force.
- Benefits of Maha bandha:
- It activates your three chakras named- Mooldhara, Manipuraka and Vishuddhi chakra
- In Hatha yoga pradipika, it is mentioned that performing the Maha bandha can conquer old age and death hence helps against the aging process.
It draws your prana force upwards and wakes your kundalini energy. Practicing these yoga bandha is an effective way to regulate your all internal organs so that it creates a perfect harmony between your body and your mind. So if you want to achieve the experience of the opening of all balancing energies, then learn yoga bandhas under the guidance the experienced yoga teachers. The study of bandhas is an integral aspect of ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, which is an integral part of 200-hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh training module. Here one can learn all the awakening and contradiction of yoga bandhas under the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher. So create a balance and regulates your prana forces in the right way by integrating bandhas in your yoga regime.
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