Have you thought the art of yoga consists of just basic yoga asanas? If so, you might need to understand about the different layers of yoga. As a beginner, it could be a challenge to fathom the deepest cores of the human body. However, it won’t be easy until you take the first step and learn Yoga Bandhas.
So, we have formulated a few types of yoga bandhas and their significance in yoga practice. Make sure you go through the details to enhance your yoga knowledge and practice. Moreover, we also listed some of the easiest steps to practice yoga bandhas. Read on.
What are Yoga Bandhas?
In yogic terminology, bandhas signify ‘energy locks’. The human body has smaller muscles that you contract willfully. With practice, you develop a strong mental connection with these muscles.
When you contract specific muscles, it results in controlling the flow of energy, it is known as yoga bandhas. Hence, practicing yoga bandhas helps you have strong control over your body, mind and the prana flowing through your body.
Another crucial thing used while practicing yoga bandhas is deep breathing. Various Pranayama techniques help you get more control over your muscles to ensure you practice yoga bandhas perfectly.
Let us now explore different types of yoga bandhas. Going through them helps you know better.
Types of Yoga Bandhas
This is also known as the Root Lock. When you practice Mula Bandha, you contract the muscles present in the pelvic floor of your body. Therefore, Mula bandha focuses on pushing the energy stored in your pelvis floor upward where it reaches your abdominal area.
Moreover, with regular practice, the energy harnessed in your abdominal area is used for raising your consciousness over time. In short, this helps you attain Samadhi and restrict the flow of sexual energy all over your body.
This Yoga Bandha is also known as Chin Bandha. As depicted from the name itself, practicing Jalandhara Bandha works on the valve present in your neck and throat region. That is why it is also known as the Throat lock.
On a deeper level, Jalandhara Bandha is connected with the Throat Chakra present in your subtle body. You have to compliment this Yoga Bandha with a deeper Pranayama technique. The aim is to keep the energy flow limited to your stomach only.
In short, this lock helps control and channel the energy harnessed from other Yoga Bandhas. Hence, to ensure the energy does not leave through your nose or mouth, Jalandhara Bandha comes into action.
The Uddiyana Bandha focuses on your abdominal area. Furthermore, the muscles used in this Bandha are present near your navel and diaphragm. It is also known as the flying upward lock. Uddiyana Bandha aims at harnessing pure energy in your abdomen that heats your body.
Furthermore, this Bandha helps in bringing lightness to your yoga practice. It also helps you reach the higher dimensions of your being by utilizing the energy stored in your stomach. Uddiyana Bandha also helps improve your digestion and higher metabolism.
Maha Bandha is one of the most advanced energy locks. In this Bandha, you use every lock present inside your body. Therefore, to practice this lock, you need a lot of practice and energy. Another crucial point of Maha Bandha is that not every yoga pose requires practice.
Due to its higher difficulty level, yoga practitioners usually practice this Bandha with deep breathing and meditation techniques. Furthermore, Maha Bandha ensures the energy harnessed from other yoga Bandhas does not leave your body.
Therefore, every little muscle is contracted to create a safety valve inside your body to hold the subtle energy roaming within your body.
This is further known as Foot Lock. However, yoga practitioners usually practice Pada Bandha with Root Chakra. Therefore, with the inclusion of different forms of breathing techniques along with yoga bandhas, you create more stability in your legs and feet.
Mostly, Pada Bandha has its use in standing yoga poses. However, you can use this lock while working on your core muscles. Hence, engaging muscles in your legs, hips, and core ensures there is no energy leakage from your body.
Hands are the primary sites to practice the Hasta Bandha. Your arms are connected to your heart chakra. Therefore, practicing different breathing exercises while balancing your body on your arms helps you master Hasta Bandha.
Furthermore, this lock improves the functioning and balance of your hands and arms. You even become a master at handstand yoga poses and inverted yoga asanas. Practicing Hasta Bandha improves the flexibility and agility of your wrists, elbow, and shoulder joints.
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Significance of Yoga Bandhas
There are tons of Yoga Bandha benefits you enjoy with regular practice. Some of them are mentioned below. Go ahead and have a read to learn what good Yoga Bandha has for you.
Strong Mind-Muscle Connection
You need strong focus and concentration while practicing Yoga Bandhas. Therefore, with regular practice, you form a strong mind and muscles connection. It helps you become aware of what’s going within your mind.
Furthermore, with a better mind-muscle connection, you consciously control your internal actions. This improves your overall health.
To have a healthy life, your organs should work efficiently. That is what different Yoga Bandhas help you with. Constantly contracting your muscles further stimulates your glands.
With the stimulation of glands, there is the release of feel-good hormones. Hence, you get balanced hormonal release with consistent practice of Yoga Bandhas. Also, stimulating glands improve the working of your endocrine system.
Better Spine Health
Contracting muscles present along your spine helps you a lot. It strengthens the supporting muscles around your spine. Hence, you get strong and support proper posture throughout the day.
Furthermore, with a strong and flexible spine, you become fit and athletic. Also, regular practice of Yoga Bandhas encourages your spine to stay agile and mobile. In short, Yoga Bandhas restore the natural health of your spinal cord.
Subtle energy lies at the base of your spine. This awakens the moment you start practicing Yoga Bandhas. With consistent practice, your energy points (Chakras) get activated. Hence, the energy flows from your Root Chakra to your Crown Chakra.
The release and rise of energy through your body helps in Kundalini Awakening. In short, all your Chakras are activated with regular practice of Yoga Bandhas. Furthermore, this helps you to attain enlightenment.
Also Read:- Kundalini Yoga For Beginners
Purify Mind & Body
The human mind and body suffer and experience a lot of negative situations and possibilities. These ruffle with your energy flow and the aura governing your body. If not taken care of, your mind suffers from mental and physical disorders.
With the practice of Yoga Bandhas, your mind and body get purified. This control over the flow of energy ensures you channelize it to your vital organs. In short, you work towards settling down your energy flow and mental mechanisms.
How to Practice Yoga Bandhas
Let us have a look at some of the easiest ways to practice the most important Yoga Bandhas. Check out the following points so that you don’t take any wrong steps.
Have you ever held your urine because either you are stuck in some place or no urinal is within your reach? If yes, you might have activated the muscles used in Mula Bandha.
These contracting muscles or locks are present in the anal passage of your body. Moreover, they are also present on your pelvis floor. Hence, to practice Mula Bandha, you imitate the scenario as if you are holding your urine.
Doing so contracts the muscles around your anus, reproductive organs, lower abdomen, and lower back. Furthermore, you squeeze and hold it for a few seconds.
However, make sure only your anal passage is contracted and nothing else moves within your body. Only then you do properly master this Yoga Bandha.
The easiest step to practice Jalandhara Bandha is to breathe deep and bow your neck forward. Then, you should touch the base of your tongue to the roof of your throat. It closes the flow of air from your throat.
Practicing Jalandhara Bandha puts additional pressure on your neck and upper back. Therefore, you should avoid practicing this Yoga Bandha in case you suffering from any neck issues.
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Ever sucked your stomach in? If not, you should. This helps in massaging your internal organs. It depends on your goal that decides whether you should breathe in or out. Furthermore, sucking in your stomach might be painful at first.
However, with regular practice, you become a master at holding your breath and stomach muscles. It improves your digestion and metabolism.
As you can see, practicing Yoga Bandhas is one of the best things you should learn to level up your yoga practice. However, it can take years to master them. So, stay consistent with your practice.
Furthermore, you should join a yoga school to learn Yoga Bandhas from masters. Just make sure you join a Yoga Alliance registered yoga school.
In turn, you become a yoga master in the least possible time.
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