After practising yoga for a little while and following yogis online, I kept coming across this term ‘bandha’.
So, what is it? In Sanskrit, Bandha means to lock, hold or tighten. It relates to different areas of the body that you can “lock” to gain more control of what your muscles are doing. The three “main” bandhas are the Mula Bandha (the pelvic floor muscles), the Uddiyana Bandha (the abs up to the diaphragm) and the Jalandhara Bandha which is in the throat.
However, there are more than just those three, for example, the Hasta Bandha which are in the palm of the hands and the Pada Bandha are in the soles of the feet.
In a more spiritual way of thinking about it, bandhas are a way of directing the flow of the energy inside you. When you engage a bandha you focus the energy and the outcome is a body in full control.
How do you engage your Bandhas?
For example, to engage the Uddiyana Bandha in the abs, you pull your belly button in towards your spine and up towards your diaphragm. Why would you want to do it? It will help you gain more control of your body and can be described as something that will make you “fly”. This is because it locks all the strength in your core that you need to lift your legs up, for example, in flying pigeon pose.
I look forward to incorporating these into my practice more and will keep you all updated on how it goes!
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