Do you know your body has an infinite supply of energy? It moves from one point in your body to the other. However, it is not regulated or has any direction. So, it is not much helpful for you. But, with yoga bandhas, you can channel this energy.
As a yoga practitioner, yoga bandhas are something that you should incorporate into your yoga practice routine. In case you have just started practicing yoga, we have prepared a guide to get set with the practice of yoga bandhas. Make sure you check out different types of yoga bandhas and how do they benefit you. Read on.
What is Yoga Bandhas?
In the yogic tradition, ‘Bandha’ simply means a lock. There are various types of muscles in the human body. As per spiritual gurus, each lock helps in pushing energy upward in your body.
When you practice yoga bandhas, you contract the muscles present at different locations in your body. These ensure that the energy harnessed does not leak out of the body.
In short, yoga bandhas are there to lock down the physical as well as psychical energy. Over time, your mind automatically learns to contract your muscles or bandhas while practicing yoga. This helps in energy saving that power you while practicing intense yoga asanas.
Yoga Bandhas: A Typical Functioning
Yoga bandhas practice locks the vital energy in your body. Contracting the muscles create an energy lock that ensures prana energy does not move freely inside your body. Yoga bandhas are one of the crucial elements of Pranayama practice.
So, breathing in the right way has an important role in the perfect functioning of yoga bandhas. Prana energy supports every physical and mental activity. Therefore, the precise flow of prana energy ensures every element in your body gets adequate energy.
Manipulation of your breath should be done under the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher and with the right intention in mind. So, a path to perfecting yoga bandhas has a long way. That is why you should practice daily without any breaks.
Types of Yoga Bandhas
Here are some of the types of yoga bandhas that you should know as a beginner. This helps you understand how or where to start and how long the path is. Read on.
This is also known as Root lock. The word Mula comes from Sanskrit that roughly translates to root. Practicing this yoga bandhas restricts the flow of energy between your pelvis and into your rectum.
Furthermore, practicing the Mula bandha activates the smaller muscles present in the pelvis joint. Hence, when the Mula bandha is activated, the energy is directed towards the naval area and does not allow it to move downward and out of your body.
Benefits of Mula Bandha
When you first start practicing Kundalini yoga, Mula bandha is the very first thing you practice. So, this is one of the best yoga bandhas to activate the Kundalini energy in your body.
Furthermore, practicing the Mula bandha also heals any sexual disorders. Also, it works on your digestive as well as endocrine systems.
The Jalandhara bandha is made up of two words, Jal & Dhara. The word Jal means throat and Dhara means flow. As depicted from the name itself, it does not allow energy to move up and restricts its movement.
It is also known as Chin lock since it is practiced by bringing the chin towards your chest area. The biggest benefit of this yoga bandha is that it heals all physical ailments without any issue.
The movement of energy toward your neck cures cervical and any other neck issues. Not just that, it stimulates the thyroid and parathyroid glands that stimulate your mind.
Benefits of Jalandhar Bandha
One of the biggest reasons why you should practice Jalandhar bandha is that it boosts the mobility of your spine. Furthermore, it cures any ailment in your chest and neck.
Also, practicing Pranayama while executing this bandha improves your respiratory functions. In all, it is one of the best yoga bandhas with overall body growth.
The word Uddiyana means to rise. When you practice this yoga bandha, the energy stored inside your body rushes with a force towards the center of your core.
When this force moves, it gently massages the internal organs present inside your body. In this yoga bandha, the core muscles are contracted and stimulated. Moreover, it also raises the chest when the energy gushes towards your core.
This yoga bandhas not just lifts the energy up but also intensifies it. In short, the energy that moved up in the Jalandhar and Mula bandha grows in intensity.
Benefits of Uddiyana Bandha
This activates the heart chakra that leads to the feeling of compassion and love. Moreover, it is one of the most effective yoga bandhas for people who are suffering from constipation.
Furthermore, practicing this yoga bandha boosts the adrenal glands present inside your body that leads to stress and anxiety release. The best thing is that it works on your abdominal muscles.
The word Maha comes from Sanskrit that means great. Therefore, it can also be called a great bandha. Moreover, this is also known as Supreme bandha.
Maha bandhas is a compilation of all the yoga bandhas mentioned above. That is why, when you practice this yoga bandha, you form a ‘triple lock’.
Moreover, Maha bandha offers you combined benefits that you get from all other yoga bandhas as well.
When you practice this yoga bandha, you execute Mula and Jalandhar bandha in one go. In that case, all the energy gets accumulated at the center of your stomach, navel, or core.
Further, you practice Uddiyana bandha that boosts the subtle energy present inside your body.
Benefits of Maha Bandha
Practicing the Maha bandhas activates the Mooldhara, Manipuraka, and Vishuddhi chakra. Moreover, this slows down the aging process.
Furthermore, it boosts all the benefits that you get while practicing any other yoga bandhas.
The word Pada comes from Sanskrit that means foot. Here, the word Bandhas means to lock, tighten, or harness. So, it fires up the locked energy inside your body that boosts your overall health.
When you wish to connect with the earth and its natural energy, Pada bandha is surely one of the yoga bandhas you should practice. Moreover, it helps in distributing your weight evenly on your feet. Thus, it works on your feet that increase their agility and mobility.
Benefits of Pada Bandha
Practicing the Pada bandhas improves the stability of your body. Also, it helps your feet center and balance while practicing yoga.
Moreover, it engages the smaller muscles present in your lower body and feet.
Just like Pada bandha uses feet, Hasta banda uses hands or palms. The palms are placed on the ground that creates a seamless connection with the earth.
Moreover, practicing the Hasta bandha improves your mind and muscle coordination when you put your hands on the ground and practice meditation.
Benefits of Hasta Bandha
It heals the pain or strain in your hands, wrists, or palms that might incur from working too much on the computer or using gadgets. Moreover, it improves the natural circle of energy in the hands.
The arching of the palms helps in keeping the pressure on your fingers only. It improves the flow of blood into your fingers which makes sure they become stronger and flexible.
After going through all the hassle of learning and mastering them, you might be thinking what is the need to practice them. Well, the answer is mentioned in some of the reasons to practice yoga bandhas. Make sure you go through each point to ensure you convince your mind to learn yoga bandhas.
Also Read: Kumbhaka Pranayama
Benefits of Yoga Bandhas
Better Blood Flow
Pranayama is one of the major elements of yoga bandhas. When you fill your body with fresh oxygen, it boosts the flow of blood. The distant part of your body gets an ample amount of blood supply. This gushes out the dead cells from your body.
In short, you enjoy a healthy and happy life with regular practice of yoga bandhas. Furthermore, it also strengthens the vital organs present inside your body. Hence, it leads to better blood circulation.
The art of Pranayama teaches you different forms of breathing techniques. Some are fast whereas some as slow. In short, you learn to manipulate the breathing mechanisms of your body.
In that case, your respiratory system undergoes a lot of tension and pressure. So, you breathe in and exhale plenty of air. That clears out the air passage of your body. Hence, you can pump more oxygen into your body that works on the overall growth of your body.
Any hormonal imbalance in your body leads to chaos. You might end up getting frustrated, irritated, or even the mental balance loses its momentum. That is why having a perfect hormonal balance is crucial in your body.
Hence, practicing yoga bandhas should be included in your yoga session. This gives pituitary and thyroid glands a gentle massage that balances out the release of a different set of hormones.
Moreover, practicing yoga bandhas help you be conscious of your mind and body. You learn about different ways to harness the energy that comes in handy while practicing intense yoga asanas.
Soothes Central Nervous System
The central nervous system is always at work. That leads to the accumulation of too much stress in your body. Moreover, it leads to various mental and physical ailments that could hamper not just yoga practice but also your life.
So, you should practice yoga bandhas if you want to live a happening and joyous life. Practicing yoga bandhas massages the central nervous system that stimulates and loosens up your body.
Thus, your mental and body tension releases in a single go. On the other hand, with a relaxed central nervous system, you become aware and conscious of what is going inside your head.
Better Prana Flow
Prana is the life force that is crucial to sustaining life inside and outside your body. Without the proper flow of prana energy inside your body, you can’t execute any type of exercise, whether it is physical or mental.
When you practice yoga bandhas, you learn to harness the prana energy inside your body. It does not leak or flow out. Rather, you accumulate it inside that you use precisely wherever it is needed.
In short, you become a master at harnessing, storing, and using prana energy. This further helps you when you wish to enter the deepest dimensions of your life.
Awareness means being conscious of where your attention goes. It is one of the most important elements that you should be aware of while practicing meditation.
When you practice yoga bandhas, your awareness reaches the highest point. Therefore, you fall in perfect alignment with your mind and body.
Also, yoga bandhas intensify the connection between your mind and body. You did not just become aware of how your body moves but also learn to manipulate it as per your desire
With raised awareness, it becomes easier for you to get in touch with your inner being.
Also Read: Sun Salutations
Yoga bandhas benefits you in the long run. Whether you are a beginner or an intermediate yoga practitioner, practicing yoga bandas is going to push your journey to the next level.
However, as a beginner, you should consider joining a yoga school. Just make sure that you join a Yoga Alliance registered yoga school.
Furthermore, as a beginner, you can join a 200 hour yoga teacher training course. In case you wish to level up your practice, a 300 hour yoga teacher training course is perfect for you.
Keep one thing in your mind for sure, that is, it takes time to master a single yoga bandha. So, do not rush through the process while practicing the yoga bandhas. Instead, be conscious or aware while practicing them.
Over time, you master yoga bandhas one by one and have full control over your emotions, feelings, energy, and life.