What Are Bandhas In Yoga?
Bandhas are energy locks engaged during yogic practices to seal in and intensify the heat and energy created during the practice. Intense internal heat is produced to purify the body and expand our life force and pranic body. Combined correctly with Vinyasa and Asana, the body becomes strong and light. The body becomes healthy, strong, pure, and radiant by practicing them. They are a vital component of yoga practice and in yoga teacher training courses its most common practicse; without them, perfection and benefits of the asanas, correct breath, and control of the mind are impossible.
Types Of Bandhas
There are three bandhas in the body, which are the anal, navel, and throat locks. Mula Bandha is the anal lock located in the perineum. To activate it, the practitioner focuses on tightening the muscles around the genitals and anus and lifting the perineum towards the navel. Uddiyana Bandha is the navel lock. To activate it, the practitioner pulls in the belly, bringing the navel closer to the spine and then lifting the navel up towards the solar plexus area. Jalandhara Bandha is the throat lock. While practicing Asana, the activation of Ujjayi breath subtly engages Jalandhar bandha. To increase the intensity of Jalandhara Bandha during Pranayama and Meditation practices, the practitioner lifts the chest and tightly tucks the chin towards the sternum.
In the beginning, the yogi should continue to draw their attention to the activation of the bandhas on a physical muscular level. With time and consistent practice, and as the yogi becomes physically more substantial and more aware of the pranic body, the bandhas become less physical, more energetic, and eventually mentally automatic. When they are perfect, the mind comes under control. We haved introduced yoga retreat in Rishikesh to practice Bandhas.
Benefits Of Bandhas
When we apply bandhas to our body, the first thing they do is activate the muscle tissue and stimulates the organs and glands of that specific region. It usually tones the muscles in which we work and enhances their functioning. A scientific study conducted in 2017 with 50 women sorrowing from symptomatic mild pelvic organ prolapse has shown the positive result of practicing Mula Bandha. It shows that a regular practice of it for three months helps the women reduce the severity of symptoms and improves their quality of life, having a mild degree of prolapse.
Bandhas are also helpful in stimulating chakras with the help of locking energy around them. It also helps improve physical and mental vitality by stimulating the chakras as prana circulates more efficiently throughout the body.
What Happens While Practicing Bandhas?
Usually, bandhas manipulate pranas, the force of life within the astral body. And as we know that physical and astral bodies are linked with each other, and we are more used to manipulating our physical bodies. In this, muscle contraction creates both physical and energetic locks. So basically, they are a method to lock energy and manipulate life force. An appropriate way to use prana is through breathing, as it governs the inhaling and exhaling by giving all power to the physical and mental activities of the body. Breath control, maintenance, and locks control the prana and our body’s capacity to hold more prana.
As our capacity to hold more life force increments, so does our total well-being and essentialness. In any case, recall that legitimate (high-level) pranayama ought to be just Practiced in a controlled manner with the right expectations and under the direction of an experienced teacher.
What Happens While Practicing Bandhas?
There are some myths and truths we often hear about yoga practices, so here are some:
Anyone Can Apply Bandhas In Their Body
Applying bandha’s is not everyone’s cup of tea; you will require mental and physical control over your body. Traditionally, teachers taught it to only those who have a regular yoga practice.
Bandhas Can Not Do Any Harm To The Body
Bandhas is a type of practice, if not done correctly, can cause adverse effects on the health and body. Then they should also be practiced and learned under the adequate supervision of an experienced teacher.
You Require To Use Force To Apply Bandhas
It is just a matter of time; it will become easy and gentle when you learn and understand the it. You will not have to put extra force or stress while applying Bandhas; if you are doing so, then chances are high that you are doing it incorrectly.
Bandhas are a great tool to gain optimal health and vitality. If you perform them carefully, it can use pranas and chakras in a way that can benefit the body and mind. It would be best if you had patience and caution while performing them, and here in yoga school in Rishikesh, we teach Bandhas with utmost care and delegation.