This is why you are doing the Bandhas – to force the energy (Kundalini) up
Bandhas are locks that block energy flows by constricting certain inner muscles of the body. They are mainly used in pranayama and asana practices. Bandhas massage internal organs, stimulate nerves, and removes stagnant blood. Bandhas also have a subtle influence on chakras, as the contraction of certain muscles and breath retention helps to accumulate energy in certain areas.
There are three bandhas – Jalandhara, Uddiyana and Mula
Jalandhara bandha closes trachea and condenses energy in the throat chakra. The chin lock, as well as breath retention, stimulate the thyroid and parathyroid glands, thus improving their functioning. It helps to reduce stress, anxiety thus relaxing the mind and body. Generally, bandhas are practiced with pranayamas and mudras. People with heart diseases and high blood pressure shouldn’t practice without expert guidance.
How to practice Jalandhara bandha?
Sit in any meditative pose with knees on the ground and palms on the knees. Close the eyes. Deeply exhale and hold it. Bend the head forward and press the chin towards the sternum. Straighten the arms and keep this pose as long as it is comfortable without any strain. Then bend the arms, slowly raise the head, and deeply inhale. After the breath is normalized repeat the process.
Uddiyana bandha condenses energy in Manipura chakra (solar plexus) and sends it to the Anahata chakra (heart chakra). This bandha is beneficial for abdominal ailments, as it has a positive massage effect on the organs of the abdominal cavity. Uddiyana bandha improves the functioning of the pancreas, liver, spleen, kidneys, as well as normalizes the adrenal glands. This bandha activates the Manipura chakra, located four fingers above the belly button.
How to practice Uddiyana bandha?
Sit in any meditative pose with knees on the ground and palms on the knees. Close the eyes. Deeply exhale and hold it. Do Jalandhara bandha and contract the abdominal muscles. Keep the lock as long as it is comfortable without any strain. First, release the abdominal muscles, then the Jalandhara bandha, and inhale deeply. Make sure to release the chin lock before inhaling. Repeat the process after the breathing is normalized. Uddiyana bandha is practiced with an empty stomach and intestines. People with heart problems, peptic ulcers, as well as pregnant women shouldn’t do this bandha.
Mula means root and is closely associated with the Muladhara chakra (root chakra). It concentrates and keeps the energy in the lower chakras thus preventing the energy outflow into the earth and raises it to higher chakras. It fosters the awakening of Kundalini.
Mula bandha helps to develop intimate muscles and stimulate urogenital organs and pelvic nerves.
How to practice Mula bandha?
Sit in any meditative pose with knees on the ground and palms on the knees. Close the eyes. Inhale deeply and retain the breath. While retaining the breath do Jalandhara bandha. Then contract the perineum muscles. The perineum is the space between the genitals and the anus. Keep the breath as long as it is comfortable without any strain. First release the contraction in the perineum and then the Jalandhara bandha, raise the head, and slowly exhale. After the beath is normalized repeat the process.