This weeks video is inspired by Y is for Yogini, when she said “What the bandha are you waiting for?” Well yes, what the bandha! is a bandha? There are 3 main bandhas, or locks in yoga. These are mula, uddiyana, and jalandhara. Briefly, the mula is the root lock/earth energy often referred to as the “feel good” bandha that is several inches below the navel, the jalandhara bandha is the throat lock where the back of the lengthens and the front softens, and the last one uddiyana is the abdominal lock often referred to as the flying upward energy that I am showing you today.
Make sure you have an empty stomach before practicing this. Here are the quick steps:
1. Stand with feet hip widths apart. Raise arms up to inhale fully.
2. Fold forward to exhale completely (very important to not have any air left even contract the belly to squeeze the air out)
3. Bend the knees and put all your body weight onto the hands so the core isn’t working to hold you up.
4. Hold your breath and relax the belly.
5. Take a mock breath by expanding the rib cage (acting as if you were going to inhale but don’t take any air in)
6. The lack of air in your lungs creates the vacuum that draws your diaphragm up and navel towards the spine
7. Hold for about 5 secs or mock breaths, then relax the belly before you inhale back up to standing
8. Take a few normal breaths and repeat 3-5 more times.
You may feel like you’re choking, if so, add the 3rd bandha which is jalandhara bandha, the chin lock. Tuck your chin towards your sternum to close off the throat area so air pressure doesn’t travel up to your head. The inhale up gives you the lightness and extra effort (or rather the feeling of effortlessness when you come into a pose). Other tips are to keep the chest broad and the upper spine long so resist the urge to collapse. The benefits of practicing uddiyana not only gives you the “lift” but it also tones, massages, and cleanses the abdominal organs.
Uddiyana bandha in action: flying into crow from downdog. Emma, this is for you 🙂
… And rest assured that I am NOT going to do a video on mula bandha 🙂 Muahhhahahaha