Our daily existence wastes all powerful, natural, instinctive energy, soul from our bodies. Yoga Bandhas guide this stream of energy to the deprived regions from the regions where prana is blocked up or held back. Bandhas take the energy towards its focal point from where it is reallocated in a balanced manner to ensure unification and synchronization in the body. The Bandhas practice involves physical and muscular movement primarily, with the passage of time a learner will be able to recognize underlying mental and energetic models and work on the Bandhas with a conscious effort; once experienced, these internal energy gates will remain active all the time, in vigilance and in sleep. Learners approach to Bandhas is in relation to certain parts of the body, such as glands, muscles, and organs, while their true worth lies in being admired as the design for the distribution of essential power within the body. Once this channel of energy is organized, it brings into line and stimulates the corporeal, mental, emotional, and spiritual elements of the body.
Typically there are three types of Bandhas, tri-Bandhas, are practiced together. They are:
- Mula Bandha
- Uddiyana Bandha
- Jalandhara Bandha
Steps of Mula Bandha:
- Sit straight on the carpet in Siddhasana, pressing well the perineum with the left heel.
- Keep your back straight, your neck erect and your head pointing forwards.
- Take a deep breath.
- Now breathe out slowly. As you breathe out, first tighten the muscles around your anus and then your pelvic floor muscle and your sphincter muscles.
- Intensify the contraction as you exhale completely.
- Now, bend forward gently and move forward your head and neck to the chest.
- Hold this posture for a few seconds and then release as you inhale.
Steps of Uddiyana Bandha:
- Stand with feet hip distance apart and rest hands on knees.
- Exhale completely with force. Observe that you do this pressing in with both your abdomen and chest.
- Hold your breathing and do not let any air into lungs.
- Breathe in through the nose and breathe out forcefully. Stiffen abs to push air out of lungs.
- Concentrate on hollowed stomach and feeling the abdominal lift.
- Put lower chin to the chest.
- Hold up to 5-15 seconds. Release abdominals, lift chin and breathe usually.
- Perform at least 2 more rounds. Take rest after the end of each round.
Steps of Jalandhar Bandha:
- Sit in a relaxed yoga sitting pose sukahasna.
- Put the palms on the knees and ensure that the knees are definitely touching the floor.
- Close your eyes and calm down the body. Breathe normally.
- Now breathe in slowly and deeply and then hold the breath.
- Raise your chin without leaning the head as far as possible.
- Now, bend forward little by little and push your neck and head to the chest.
- At this moment, contract your neck and throat muscles at the same instance.
- Lower the chin and place it on the jugular notch.
- Keep your chin down.
- Contract the neck and throat muscles and keep your back unbends.
- Try to look at the tip of your nose.
- Be in this position for a moment.
- Lift up your chin and neck to revert to the starting position.
Importance of Bandhas in Yoga
Bandhas are beneficial for the brain centers, the Chakras and the Nadis. The power channels are purified, blockages released and the exchange of energy is improved. Bandhas lessen mental restlessness and stress and bring about inner peace and balance.
Communally, yoga bandhas benefits stimulate perception and intellect; and stop the meaningless wandering of the mind. These internal energy gates streamline the flow of vitality or life force from dispelling outwards and direct it within the body allowing a man to attain awareness about self, life, reality, and supreme consciousness.