BIO | SUN SALUTATIONS SERIES | ASANA FUNDAMENTALS | BANDHAS | YOGA
Traditionally, bandhas were classified as part of mudras, The Sanskrit word Bandha means 'hold', 'tighten' or 'lock'. The bandhas aim to lock the pranas in particular areas and redirect their flow into the sushumna nadi for the purpose of spiritual awakening.
Bandhas may be practiced individually or incorporated with Mudra and pranayama practices. When combined in this way, they awaken the psychic faculties and form an adjunct to higher yogic practices.
Bandhas and the Granthis
There are four bandhas:
The last of these is a combination of the first three. These three bandhas directly act on the three granthis or psychic knots. Moola Bandha is associated with brahma granthi, Uddiyana Bandha with Vishnu granthi and Jalandhara Bandha wit rudra granthi. The granthis prevent the free flow of prana along the sushumna nadi and thus impede the awakening of the charkas and the rising of Kundalini. Bandhas
The toning of particular muscles and organs to provide a lock or closure that holds the pranic energy in and moves it powerfully through the subtle energy channels (nadis).
- Mulabandha - "Root Lock"
- Uddiyana Bandha - "Flying Up"
- Jalandhara Bandha - "Chin Lock"
Mula - Root, source, origin
Contains the downward flow of prana called (apana) so that it can be equalized with the upward flow of prana (udana).
Mula bandha comes as you draw energy through the perineal muscles toward a central point. There, a lifting occurs that joins wit Uddiyana bandha to create an energetic lift through the core of the body.
The perineum and the lower abdominal region between the anus and the navel is contracted, pulled back to the spine and lifted up towards the diaphragm.
Uddiyana - to go into flight, to lift up
Prana is made to flow up from the lower abdomen toward the head and throat.
Jala - means net, web or mesh
Ndhara - chin
Stimulates vagus nerve producing a relaxation response.
Stops prana from flowing out of the top of the head and dropping it down below the heart and throat.
Clears nasal passages and regulates the flow of blood and prana to the heart, head and endocrine glands in the neck (thyroid and parathyroid).