Within the yoga practice, there are several “locks,” or bandhas, that work to support, structure, and soften any given pose. The belly lock, also known as uddiyanna bandha, involves accessing and understanding the musculature of the abdomen. The root lock, or mula bandha, involves accessing and understanding the musculature of the pelvic floor. The third lock discussed here is called jalandara bandha, and it involves a restriction of the throat and a lengthening of the cervical spine.

We bring awareness to these areas in order to control the breath and direct the flow of energy. The first two bandhas are almost perpetually engaged in the asana practice, however, janlandhara bandha is less frequently used on the mat in the traditional sense. Oftentimes, we use this bandha in breathing exercises to cut off the breath altogether. In this video, follow along as Jessica Walden, an Ashtanga yoga teacher based in Encinitas, California, provides a jalandhara bandha explainer and reveals the intricacies behind the practice.