Share Pin Email
feature image
Live Fit

The Physical and Energetic Effects of the Abdominal Lock

This explanation of uddiyana bandha will help you understand why and how it should be practiced in yoga.

0 253
Author Image
Contributing Writer
SHARE:

The Sanskrit word bandha is generally considered to mean “lock” but more literally “to bind” or “to hold captive.” In hatha yoga, bandhas are physical contractions that give structural support to the body including the organs in the pelvis, abdomen, and spine. These locks become especially important in keeping the body healthy during a vigorous and physically demanding practice because they engage the tissue surrounding the core. When engaged in conjunction with pranayama (breath work) and kumbhaka (breath retention), bandhas stop the movement of prana (the vital life force, or energy). According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, a classic Sanskrit manual on hatha yoga, when this force stops moving, the mind stops moving as well.

Uddiyana means “to rise up” or “fly.” In the practice of uddiyana bandha, also known as the abdominal lock, the abdominal wall is firmed and lifted. The tension created when working with the uddiyana bandha is a form of “tensegrity,” the relationship between tension and compression. When the core is engaged (tension) there is a natural upward flow (compression) of energy that gives the necessary support to the abdominal organs and spine. On a more subtle and esoteric level, uddiyana bandha fans the agni, or element of fire that is most highly concentrated at the navel. Strengthening this fire aids in purifying the body’s subtle channels, or nadis. This purification process is intensified if uddiyana bandha is practiced during a bahir/bahya kumbhaka, or external breath retention. This is sometimes called uddiyana kriya. One of the main goals of hatha yoga is to purify these nadis to allow prana to flow more freely. Anatomically speaking, uddiyana kriya has a powerful toning effect on the visceral organs, muscles, nerves, and glands in the solar plexus area. It also gives a horizontal stretch to the diaphragm, which can assist in deep breathing and free up this muscle to help break chronic chest-breathing patterns.


Related: The Intriguing Tantric Practices You Should Really Know About


Practicing uddiyana bandha/kriya creates a strong vacuuming effect in the abdomen and puts pressure on the organs. For this reason, it is not recommended during pregnancy or menstruation, nor for people suffering from ulcers and hernias.

A posture in which it’s helpful to explore uddiyana bandha/kriya using the principles of tensegrity is this forward bend (Padangusthasana), in which the hands and feet are connected. First, make sure you prepare with several rounds of Sun Salutations, then allow your heartbeat and breath to slow down to their natural pace. Next, with your feet parallel and about hip-width, lean forward and hold the big toes with the first two fingers of either hand. As you exhale, pull your torso down toward your thighs. At the very end of exhale, pause the breath and slowly pull away from the thighs as you suck the navel back towards the spine. The tension created when the arms stop this movement result in an upward compression of the abdominal organs and diaphragm. Once the arms are straight, inhale. Repeat three to four times.

Photo by Mitchell Manz; Graphic by Sarah Weiss

By

SHARE:

Comments (0)

U.S. TOUR 2019

PARAMAGURU
SHARATH JOIS

Don’t miss your chance to attend class with the Ashtanga yoga master when he visits the U.S. Spring 2019!

Registration Now Open

Load More

Find us on Instagram

@LIVESONIMA
  • Paramaguru Sharath Jois’ new book, Ageless: A Yogi's Secrets to a Long and Healthy Life, is now available for shipping to the U.S.!
.
.
The teachings in this book are centered on creating healthy lifestyle habits and ways we can prevent sickness to live long, peaceful lives. Sharath includes great yogi wisdom from his grandfather, Guruji, along with pranayama and asana practices.
.
.
You can download the book on Google play or order it on Amazon! Visit the link in our bio to purchase. This book was co-written with his student, Isha Singh Sawhney.
  • “The Primary Series in Aṣṭāṅga yoga is called Yoga Chikitsa, which means yoga therapy. It is designed to bring stability within us.” – Sharath Jois
.
.
Come practice Primary Series with Paramguru Sharath Jois when he visits the U.S. this year.
.
.
Registration is now open!
.
.
Stanford, California,  April 22 – 27
Miami, Florida,  May 1 – 7
New York, New York,  May 11 -16
.
.
Follow the link in our bio to join in this incredible experience of learning yoga right from the source. #SharathJoisUSA2019 #LiveSonima (photo by: @ilfilmyoga) .
.
.
.
#SharathJois #Sharath #SharathTour #AshtangaYoga #AshtangaCommunity #Astanga #AshtangaPrimarySeries #YogaLife #YogaLiving #ParamaguruSharathJois #YogaDiaries #YogaTour #YogaTherapy #YogaHealing #LiveWell #LiveBetter #BalancedLifestyle #YogiLife
  • Did you catch our Instagram or Facebook LIVE yesterday? Deepak Chopra, MD, gave a profound keynote speech on the neuroscience of self-awareness and higher consciousness at the 2019 Yoga and Science Conference in NYC. Visit the link on our page to hear it and check out or Instagram highlights for a recap of the conference. #YogaAndScience2019 #LiveSonima
  • Day 2 of the 2019 Yoga and Science Conference began with a restorative yoga session led by Gail Parker, PhD. Participants welcomed one another through partnered listening exercises followed by a brief meditation and restorative postures. ❤️🙏 #YogaAndScience2019 #LiveSonima
  • We’re at the Yoga and Science Conference this weekend in NYC! Head over to our Instagram and Facebook Stories for our coverage on the research behind mindfulness-based practices. And be sure to tune today on Instagram or Facebook at 2:30PM for a LIVE video of Deepak Chopra, MD, exploring the reality of science and yoga. ❤️🙏
#YogaAndScience2019 #LiveSonima
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#yoga #science #mindfulness #mindfulpractice #deepakchopra #yogaandscience #yogaheals #healthylifestyle #yogahealing #yogaresearch
  • We are so excited to announce that registration is now open to all! Join Paramaguru Sharath Jois in the U.S. this Spring. Spaces will fill up quickly, so be sure to reserve your spot on one or more of his teaching weeks:
.
.
* Stanford, California,  April 22 – 27
* Miami, Florida,  May 1 – 7
* New York, New York,  May 11 -16
.
.
Follow the link in our bio to sign up! And once you do, we’d love to see how you’re preparing for it. Share your practice and plans with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter by tagging @LiveSonima and #SharathJoisUSA2019 ❤️🙏 We’ll see you there!
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
 #sharath #sharathustour #sharath2019 #sharathjois #yogawisdom #livesonima #ashtanga #ashtangacommunity #asana #yogaliving #yogaeveryday #mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #balance #yogilife #yogamaster #ashtangafamily #practiceisprayer #miamilifecenter #stanforduniversity #sharath #sharathjoistour #astangalove #ashtangalove #ashtangapractice #ashtangayogalove
Receive fresh content delivered to your inbox every week!