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Bandha used in Pranayama

Bandha used in Pranayama:

Bandha means To Lock/ Hold/ Tighten.

There are three classic bandhas; mula, uddiyana, and jalandhara bandha. When practiced together they are called Maha bandha. They are practiced together or individually at specific times during kriya, asana, pranayama, mudra, visualization, and meditation practice. It is expected in Yoga to retain a firm pose in a bandha as it is retained in the asanas. Generally, the breath is held during the practice of the Bandhas. Mula Bandha and Jalandhara Bandha can be performed after the inhalation as well as after the exhalation. Uddiyana Bandha and Maha Bandha are only performed after the exhalation.

When the Bandha is released, this causes the energy to flood more strongly through the body with increased pressure. The aim is to lock and move prana in particular areas.

The following Bandha are used in Pranayama for

Jalandhara Bandha/ Chin Lock Bandha

Uddiyana Bandha / Abdominal Lock Bandha ( Lifting of the Diaphragm)

Mula Bandha/ Anal / Root Lock Bandha

Maha Bandha/ The Great Bandha (Practice of all three Bandhas at the same time)

Bandhas

Bandha means to lock, close-off, to stop. In the practice of a Bandha, the energy flow to a particular area of the body is blocked. When the Bandha is released, this causes the energy to flood more strongly through the body with an increased pressure.

There are four types of Bandhas:

Generally, the breath is held during practice of the Bandhas. Mula Bandha and Jalandhara Bandha can be performed after the inhalation as well as after the exhalation. Uddiyana Bandha and Maha Bandha are only performed after the exhalation.

Benefits:

Bandhas are  beneficial for the brain centres, the Nadis and the Chakras.

It clears all the blockages in the body.

It  brings inner harmony and balance.

It flushes away old, dead cells.

Blood circulation is improved.

It increases flow of fresh blood.

It strengthens, renews and rejuvenates all the organs.

The energy channels are purified.

It improves the exchange of energy.

Caution:

Before attempting to perform the Bandhas, the breathing techniques should be practiced regularly for a long period of time.

One must practice the Bandha under a yoga or a Pranayama instructor.