Bandha yoga (Bandhas): Bandha means binding. Bandhas literally means a lock, bondage or joining together to objects or stages. A bandha is a special posture invented to conserve and make greater use of vast resources of energy generated by yogic exercises and Pranayama. These Bandhas are means of reorientation and control of the vital energy of your body and mind. These are of three main types.
Types of Bandha yoga (Bandhas)
In this bandha the throat is contracted blocked, as it were, by making the chin rest on the chest in the notch between the collar bones. Once in a day early in the morning it should be practiced, first standing, then in advanced stage in the sitting position.
How to do Jalandhar Bandha
Stand erect with your feet one foot apart. Bend the knees a little and then slightly bend forward. Rest your palms with fingers spread on your thigh above the knees. Take a few deep breaths and then exhale forcefully. This is automatically practiced. In these postures the chin is firmly pressed against the chest. This chin lock regulates the flow of blood to the heart, head, brain and neck. Jalandhar Bandha is also practiced in combination with Moola Bandha.
Benefits of Jalandhar Bandha
- It cures all throat related problems like tonsils, bad voice etc.
- Jalandhar Bandha is best yoga mudra for thyroid and parathyroid patients.
- It increases facial glow.
- Jalandhar Bandha awakes kundalini shakti.
- Regular practice of Jalandhar Bandha cures high and low blood pressure both but making blood pressure normal.
- It makes you calm and control your anger.
It is a very popular bandha and a basic for regulating the flow of prana and awakening of kundalini. Uddiyana bandha involves the lifting of the diaphragm high up the chest and pulling up the abdominal organs towards the spine. It means to fly up. This bandha makes the great bird of Prana fly towards the highest chakra Bramharandhara or Sahasrara. Inhale upto fill and exhale so as to empty your lungs completely.
How to do Uddiyana Bandha
Keep the breath suspended and pull the entire abdominal region back towards your spine. Then draw it up towards thorax. Keep the pressure of your palms on the thighs all this time. Remain in the pose for 20-30 seconds according to your capacity.
Relax the grip on your abdominal region and inhale slowly and deeply. Repeat the cycle three to five times.
Benefits of Uddiyana Bandha
- Uddiyana Bandha is of the great spiritual value as it forces the Prana upto Sushumna nadi.
- It invigorates the whole abdominal region.
- It is said to rejuvenate an old person, if it is properly and constantly practiced.
- The uplifting of diaphragm massages the heart muscles.
Moola (mula) Bandha
Moola literally means the root, sources, foundation or the basis. In it the portion between anus and scrotum is contracted and raised. This prevents Apana escaping from the lower body and draws it up to unite with Prana.
How to do Moola Bandha
Sit in Padmasana or Sidhasana. Stretch your hands and fingers as if in Gyan mudra. Now inhale deeply and retain your breath. Press the chin against the chest in the chin lock. Now contracted the region of lower abdomen between the anus and the navel towards your spine and pull it upwards towards the diaphragm. The contract and pull towards the abdominal muscles and remain in the posture for a few seconds. Now release the grip on abdominal muscles and remove the chin lock. Exhale slowly and evenly. Repeat the cycle three to five times.
Benefits of moola bandha
- It cures piles.
- Moola bandha cures the disorders of intestines.
- It prevents Apana vayu (foul wind) escaping from the lower body and draw it to unite with the prana vayu (the vital wind).
- Moola bandha increases sexual retention power which when sublimated makes a man ‘Urdhvaretus’ or a person of great moral and spiritual power.
- It also helps in awakening the dormant kundalini.
The moola bandha should be practiced when one becomes perfect in doing certain difficult asanas like Shirshasana, Sarvasana etc.
Sit in Padmasana on a blanket. Shut your eyes. Now practice Jalandhar, Uddiyana and Moola Bandha together. The combination of these 3 bandhas known as Maha bandhas.
Benefits of Maha Bandha
- You get benefits of all the three bandhas at once by Maha Bandha.
- It cures the menstrual problems of ladies.
- Maha Bandha cures ovarian problems of ladies.
- It helps in strengthening sex organs of males.