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. Accessing these muscles is essential in almost every single yoga posture. The center of this awareness is located about three fingers below the navel, and is engaged through an in and up motion. We bring awareness to that area in order to control the breath so we can direct it upwards into the chest and back ribs and we can feel more free. In this video, follow along as Jessica Walden, an Ashtanga yoga teacher based in Encinitas, California, provides an uddiyanna bandha explainer and reveals the intricacies behind the practice.

Related: 100 Most Influential Yoga Teachers in America

Photo by Jill Richards