If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you may have heard the teacher say: “Activate your Bandhas!”Let’s take a closer look at the Bandhas, and see what the locomotion is all about!
When you use your Bandhas, you open up a vibrant flow of prana life energy, and over time you will not only hold your yoga poses with more grace and balance, but you will also blossom and heal all around – transforming yourself emotionally, physically, and spiritually – opening up into the full expression of yourself!
Bandha is a Sanskrit word which means “bondage, joining together, fettering or catching hold of.”¹ When our bandhas are activated, we hold our breath during the contraction, and the energy flow to a particular area of the body is blocked off. Upon releasing the Bandha, the energy then flows freely and even more powerfully through our blood, nadis and chakras – helping us better receive all the incredible benefits from our pranayama breathing! Blood circulation is improved, we release toxins and dead cells, and clear out energetic blockages in our chakras!
The three Bandhas are Jalandhara Bandha, Uddiyana Bandha and Mula Bandha:
Jala means a “net, or a web” ²
- Keep the spine straight.
- Inhale deeply and hold your breath.
- Contract your neck and throat
- Rest your chin on the chest
- Concentrate on the Throat Chakra
This lock regulates the flow of blood and prana to the heart, the neck glands, and the brain. It is great for the throat and helps regulate the thyroid.
Uddiyana means “flying up”.²
- Exhale and hold the breath out – this is very important! Do not inhale and hold the breath in.
- Keep the back straight
- Lift the diaphragm
- Pull in the abdominal organs towards the spine
- Concentrate on the Solar Plexus Chakra
This Bandha stimulates intestinal activity, and helps relieve constipation. It also stimulates the pancreas, strengthens the immune system, and alleviates depression. It helps with nervous energy, and it is said that through the Uddiyana Bandha is “the best of bandhas and he who constantly practices it as taught by his Guru or master becomes young again.”²
Mula means “root, source, origin, cause, basis or foundation”. ²
- Inhale deeply and hold the breath
- Contract the root area muscles – the region between the anus and scrotum.
- Contract the muscles towards the spine, and pull up towards the diaphragm.
- Concentrate on the Root Chakra
This Bandha strengthens the pelvic floor area, and activates and purifies the Root Chakra. It is very powerful spiritually and has the power of awakening the Kundalini – the divine cosmic force in our bodies, which is symbolized as a coiled and sleeping serpent lying dormant at the base of our spine.
Happy Practice Dream Yogis!
Love & Gratitude,
¹Lyengar, B.K.S. (1966). Light on Yoga. New York, NY: Schocken Books, p.436
²Lyengar, B.K.S. (1966). Light on Yoga. New York, NY: Schocken Books, p.437
Anna-Karin Bjorklund is a writer and dream expert based in Newport Beach, California. An intrepid world traveler, she has lived in five countries and loves exploring different cultures and connecting with people. Her latest book: a memoir based on a spiritual journey to India and the philosophical remnants of stepping into her power and finding the path of self-love, comes out in November, 2017. She is also the author of Dream Guidance: Interpret Your Dreams and Create the Life You Desire! Anna-Karin loves sharing her passion for dreams and personal growth with audiences near and far, and has made media expert appearances on Fox & Friends, and the Steve Harvey TV Show on NBC, and been interviewed by Women’s Running Magazine, Money Magazine, Daily Worth, Marie Claire UK and other media outlets.