These Yoga Poses With Yoga Bandhas will help you to understand the better and a practical way of working with your Bandhas. You need to adopt them and incorporate with each asana mindfully, initially. I can promise, in a matter of time, you would become fond of these locks and would never seperate from your postures!
Summer holidays were the time when my mother had to deal with us.
The scorching days of summers in India demand to take a nap to get away from all the exhaustion due to sweat and the household chores.
“Children tend to get more active when they find potentially inactive adults in the house”.
As soon as we (my brother and I) would realize that mom got well-settled with her novel, we were quick on our adventures.
The most hilarious was crossing across our garden’s boundary wall and running to the friends nearby, who were equally eager to get a glimpse of us.
Those were smartphones-free days and children loved to play outdoor so much so that hours seemed passing in minutes.
Back home, we were never required to topple the garden’s boundary wall again because of the widely opened gate and the mother with a household, handheld equipment.
She would take turns on me and my brother while changing her equipment intermittently.
And all this would end up inside a room locked from the outside by her😅
We were given enough time to settle with our overpouring energies.
Once attaining the freedom, our brains and bodies would be the most streamlined and focused.
The Lock was helping us studying well and behaving with our best potentials🤣
Yoga Bandhas aka locks are no different than the lock 🔐my mother used in ‘abundance’ to get us streamlined and stay focused on our purpose.
In Hath yoga, the Bandhas or locks are the pranic, or energetic locks in different areas of the body, that confine energy.
By engaging your Bandhas, you can control the flow of energy during your practice.
Yoga Bandhas involve muscular contractions in certain areas of the body to trap the escape of energy from those areas. There are four basic Bandhas in hath yoga.
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. Types Of Yoga Bandhas
- Mula Bandha is the lock in your pelvic muscles
- Uddiyanbandha is the lock in your stomach area above the navel, and
- Jalandhar Bandha is the lock in your throat area.
- Then finally, there is a lock which comprises of all these three locks which are known as the Master Lock or Mahabandha.
Since these locks are done internally in our bodies, it is hard to demonstrate them visually.Therefore, today I am going to explain the Bandhas along with this yoga sequence.
According to BKS IYENGAR, Bandhas should be learned from a guru, it could be harmless otherwise.
You may take a soft approach by going with your body. Focus more on the directional flow of the energy and area of a Bandha and less on the intensity in the beginning.
Later with more practice, you can get easy with them.
This practical drill of Bandhas will show you how they are useful and how they make our yoga practice lighter and easier.
You may need two yoga blocks and one blanket, if you have it then fine if you don’t, it’s ok. You can prop yourself with cushions, bolsters, or hard books.
Now enroll your yoga mat and let’s start!
Want to go in-depth about Bandhas? Read this.
Our today’s intention is “I am well aware of my path… I set boundaries to stay liberated…
10 Yoga Poses With Yoga Bandhas
- Start with standing tall on your mat.
- Ground from all the corners of your legs and stack your knees just above your ankles, hips above your knees, and shoulders above your hips, and last your neck and crown of head above your shoulders.
- Setup ujjayi breath by contracting your throat muscles and breathing the way you are snoring. You can hear that soft sound just like an ocean.
- Pay attention to your pelvic floor. Just release with an inhale and when you exhale contract your pelvic floor muscles upward softly.
- Keep breathing.
- Take 5 breaths here and repeat your intentions- I am aware of my path…I set boundaries to stay liberated…
Mountain pose is an excellent Posture for experiencing your Moola Bandha or root lock.
Raised Hands Pose
- With an inhale, take both the hands up, parallel to your ears and when you exhale, contract your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles in and up for Uddiyanbandha.
- Continue with the Ujjayi breath…
- With an exhale, bend forward and place your hands just above the knees. Complete one round of breath.
- Inhale deeply and contract your pelvic floor muscles, exhale and squeeze abdominal muscles in and up just between your rib cage.
- Imagining the broadening of that rib cage area and adjusting your abdominal muscles in!
Cat and cow posture
- Bring your knees down so that you’re on all fours.
- Place your hands with fingers spread below your shoulders and with your knees under your hips.
- Your spine is in a neutral position.
- Inhale and expand your chest, take your crown up and tailbone up in cow pose and as you exhale, lower your tailbone and crown of the head.
- Round your back and apply the locks one by one- Moola Bandha and Uddiyanbandha both as I explained to you in the previous pastures.
Repeat for three to four rounds of cat and cow pose. Continue with the ujjayi breath.
Downward Facing Dog Pose
- Plant your hands and feet firmly on the floor and take your hips up the sky.
- Exhale to release the circumference of your pelvic floor, feel an upward movement of energy (Mula) toward your navel.
- The inverted nature of this pose also helps you access Uddiyana Bandha because your abdominal muscles are directed towards the rib cage.
- You may feel a gravitational pull on your abdominal cavity.
- Inhale and consciously relax your pelvic floor muscles and udyanbandh both.
- From Down-Dog, exhale and place your right knee in front of your right hand on the mat.
- Slide your right foot in front of your left hip, right ankle behind your left wrist. Inhale, you can prop your hands on blocks (on either side of you), to sit as upright as possible.
- Release the outer edges of your pelvic floor and feel how energy flows up through the center of it (Mula).
- Widen your rib cage and allow the energy to be drawn into your expanded area.
- Apply a gentle muscular contraction in your abdominals (Uddiyana).
- Bring your awareness to these bandhas and feel how they bring lightness, stability, and strength to your hips, spinal column, and rib cage.
- Hold for a few seconds or as much as you are comfortable in the beginning.
Come back to the downward-facing Dog posture.
Repeat pigeon pose on the other side. Bring your awareness towards the pelvic floor and abdominal area and see how the contraction here makes you feel light. Continue with the ujjayi breath.
Repeat your today’s intention…
I am well aware of my path… I set boundaries to stay liberated…
- Come back to the downward-facing dog hold for two breaths.
- Inhale and take your right foot up towards the ceiling and with an exhale, plant your foot between both the hands and rise for Warrior I yoga posture.
Warrior I Pose
- Sense a release in your pelvic floor as you exhale.
- Inhale and feel the rise of energy through the center of your pelvic floor (Mula).
- Feel the movement of energy up your spine.
- Inhale and allow your ribs to open.
- With the exhalation, keep in mind the space in your ribs and energy flow up along your central channel.
- Experience a gentle muscular contraction of your abdominals (Uddiyana).
- The abdominal cavity will have some rigidness this time (less flexible than in downward facing dog posture), because of the upright posture where you have to work against the gravity in bringing those abdominal muscles up.
Warrior III Pose
- Inhale deeply and with an exhale, setup Mula Bandha and Uddiyanbandha to bring the lightness and take your right foot off the mat and send your legs parallel to the ground.
- while sending your torso in the opposite direction, again parallel to the ground. Stay here for a few seconds and then come back to the downward-facing dog posture after releasing your Bandhas.
- Repeat the same steps on another side.
Take your left foot up the sky, with an exhale, plant your left foot between your hands, and rise in Warrior I and observe your pelvic floor and abdominal area.
Be aware of the two bandhas…what they are making you feel… Are they feeling you comfortable or making things complicated altogether because you are new to them.
You are free to drop or shake…
Repeat your intention -I am well aware of my path…
Three ujjayi breaths and then transition to warrior III yoga posture with Moola Bandha and Uddiyana bandha mindfully!
Back to Warrior I, and bring your both foot together on top of the yoga mat in mountain pose. Inhale and bend forward for uttanasana.
Place both your legs more than hips-width apart and Sit in yogi squats or Malasana.
Place your hands in front of your heart with palms together and terms in connection with your Heart Chakra in Anjani mudra.
Plant your hands in front of you. You can place a yoga block at the highest position to rest your head and avoid any falling in the beginning.
After some practice, you can do it without the block.
- Inhale and place both the knees near the armpits.
- While exhaling contract your pelvic floor muscles and lock your abdominal muscles up.
- Move forward to place your forehead on the block.
- Inhale and exhale once again mindfully with Moola Bandha and Uddiyanbandha and try lifting one leg and then and there off the floor. Find your balance for a few seconds and come back to Malasana.
Repeat once again.
For Jalandhar Bandha, you can sit in any cross-legged position or sukhasana. Inhale and lock your throat area as if you are swallowing something. With an exhale, bring your chest forward and neck down so that your chin is touching the sternum.
Hold as long as possible then release your neck and take a deep breath.
Yogis, these were your three Bandhas.
The last one is a combination of all these three called mahabandha or the Master lock.
When you get comfortable with these three, you can try for Maha-Bandha, I don’t advise you to do it before that.
“By contracting the perineum (moola), performing uddiyana, and locking Ida and Pingala with Jalandhar, Sushumna becomes active. By this means prana and the breath become still. Thus death and sickness are conquered” Hath Yoga Pradipika
- Maha Bandha activates three Chakras – Muladhara, Manipura, and Vishuddha
- For Maha-Bandha, take three deep breaths.
- Sit in siddhasana/Siddha yoni asana with the left heel pressing against the perineum/vagina (to apply pressure to mooladhara chakra).
- The right foot may be placed on top of the left thigh. Or, the right heel can be placed near the left ankle in synchronization.
- Gently exhale, and release the circumference of your pelvic floor. Next time you breathe in, take a deep, full breath from your pelvic floor—all the way up into your chest.
- As you exhale, place your palms on your knees and fold forward. Expel all the air in your lungs.
- Without inhaling, come back upright, pressing your hands into your knees and straightening your arms. feel the energy being drawn up through your pelvic floor (Mula), all the way up, and hollowing out your stomach under your ribs (this is the traditional Uddiyana applied during pranayama).
- Feel your chest rising to your chin. Lift from the top of your head, lengthening the back of your neck.
- Then, gently move your chin down toward your chest (Jalandhara Bandha), directing energy down toward your navel. When you feel you need to breathe in again, first release Jalandhara by lifting your chin, and then of Uddiyana by releasing your belly. Inhale, and release Mula.
- Repeat all steps 1–3 times.
- It is crucial to lie down in savasana after your Bandhas practice. Be here at least for five minutes, release your hands legs, and other body parts one by one.
- Mindfully check all the Bandhas one by one from Mula Banda to Jalandhar Banda.
- Release those places one by one.
- Keep breathing deeply.
Wrapping Up – Yoga Poses With Yoga Bandhas
Bandhas find their place with yoga in all the ancient and modern yoga books.
Two more Bandhas- Hast-Bandha, i.e. hand-lock and Paad-Bandha a.k.a. your foot-lock, too find mention in modern texts.
These two offer lightness in your arms and legs during the yoga practice.
Most yoga teachers less emphasize the Bandhas because of the technicality involved.
The thing to remember here is that you can’t go wrong until you follow your instincts and the flow of energy through your energy channels.
For more clarity on Bandhas, you can watch YOGARSUTRA this video on YouTube.
THANKS FOR ACCOMPANYING ME. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ABOUT THE YOGA LOCKS LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.