What is Bandha (Energy Locks) in yoga: Types and Benefits

What is Bandha (Energy Locks)?

The literal meaning of Bandha is to bind one with another, to tie, to tighten, to control, etc.

This word has been used because in this some special components or internal organs of the body are tightly bound by Pranavayu. These bands turn the power inward and are helpful in pranayam.

When energy flows through Pranayam in the body of the seeker, then the seeker uses these Bandhas to prevent the energy from going outwards. These bands help in distributing the power generated by pranayama among the internal organs. These are also practiced in awakening the horoscope.

The function of Bandha is to remove dirt from the internal organs and make them more clean and pleasant. By applying Bandha the body parts get strengthened. A kind of massage takes place. Bandhas purify the blood and stool by stimulating and smoothening the specific nerves of the body. By doing these, all those glands open which prevent the flow of prana in the chakras located in our body.

During this, the flow of energy gets direction through the Sushumna Nadi, advanced practitioners attain this experience in the state of Samadhi. Use of Bandha and Mudra provides special benefits in Pranayam. Because it is necessary for Kumbhaka and Bandha Pranayama. Therefore, the capacity to perform Kumbhak should be increased.

This is a kind of neuromuscular bond. While applying this Bandha, the seeker stops the flow of ‘Prana’ by contracting his nerves and muscles and makes the mind flow in the desired direction or stops it. While applying Bandha, breathing is stopped.

Types of Bandha (Energy Locks)

Here we will mention mainly Four types of Bandhas.

(1) Mula Bandha(Root Lock)

(2) Uddiyan Bandha(Abdominal Lock)

(3) Jalandhar Bandha(Throat Lock)

(4) Maha Bandha(Great Lock)

Mula Bandha (Root Lock)

Mulabandha which refers to adducting or contracting the pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor muscles, located at the base of the pelvis, play an important role in supporting the pelvic organs and maintaining overall pelvic health.

In yoga practice, Mulabandha is often incorporated to increase stability, balance, and energy flow. It is one of the three major bandhas, along with Jalandhara Bandha (throat lock) and Uddiyana Bandha (stomach lock), that are used to redirect and control the flow of energy within the body.

Moolabandha method-

♦ Sit in Padmasana or Siddhasana.

♦ Place your palms on your knees and sit in a state of meditation.

♦ Spine straight, eyes closed, body position relaxed and concentration on Muladhara Chakra.

♦ Breathe in, do Antara Kumbhaka. Apply Jalandhar Bandh with this.

♦ Now pull the anus and genitals upwards by doing upward contraction movements.

♦ Wait as per your capacity. Relax your lower back, lift your head up and exhale.

♦ This exercise can also be done in the position of Bahir Kumbhaka. Do this 5 to 10 times as per convenience.

Note: While doing the asana, keep in mind that the pressure of the heel falls on the anus.

Special: Due to wrong exercises, there will be a possibility of physical weakness and lack of virility. By practicing Ashwini Mudra, the seeker quickly gains mastery over Mulabandha.

Benefit of Mulabandha-

(1) Helpful in awakening the horoscope.

(2) Makes the energy power upward. As a result, due to increase in facial glow, radiance, strength and semen, the face looks like a youth and acquires the ability to do the same work.

(3) Disorders of genital organs are cured.

(4) By continuous practice of Mulabandha, Prana, Apana, Naad and Bindu unite and attain Yoga Siddhi and God.

(5) All the benefits of Jalandhar Bandha are also obtained.

(6) Helpful in practicing celibacy.

(7) Anal related disorders like diarrhea, prolapse of anus etc. are cured.

Uddiyan Bandha (Abdominal Lock)

Uddiyan Bandha is a Sanskrit word in which uddiyan means ‘to rise’ or ‘fly upward’ and bandha means to hold’, ‘to tighten’ or ‘to lock’. It is so called because the physical lock placed on the body causes the diaphragm to move towards the chest. Uddiyana Bandha is a very beneficial practice.

Uddiyana Bandha Method-

♦ Stand in alert position.

♦ Now keep a gap of about one or one and a half feet between the two feet.

♦ Bend your knees slightly and bend forward and place your hands on the thighs near the knees.

♦ Do long laxative and apply Bahir Kumbhaka. Lower the chin as much as possible in Jalandhar Bandha.

♦ Now pull the entire abdominal space (stomach) back (inward) towards the spine. This is the final stage of Uddiyana Bandha.

♦ Practice as per your convenience. Now gradually bring the abdomen to its normal position and relax the Jalandhar Bandha.

♦ Supplement and repeat the same process when it becomes normal. This is also called Shaktichalan Pranayam.

Benefits of Uddiyan Bandha-

(1) By practicing this Bandha even an old man becomes young.

(2) Uddiyana Bandha is the best Bandha. The muscles of the heart area get a good massage.

(3) The organs of the abdominal region are soft due to which the gastric fire becomes intense.

(4) This Bandha has been compared to a lion which conquers the elephant of death.

(5) Eliminates facial wrinkles and brightens it.

Specific- Repeat 5 to 10 times. Do on an empty stomach.

Note- It can also be practiced while sitting (Padmasana, Siddhasana).

Jalandhar Bandha (Throat Lock)

Jalandhara Bandha involves gently contracting the throat muscles while keeping the chin lowered toward the chest. It is believed to help regulate the flow of energy in the throat area and is beneficial for respiratory and thyroid functions.

Jalandhar Bandha Method-

♦ Sit in Padmasana, Siddhasana, Swastikasana or Bhadrasana. Keep your back, neck and chest straight.

♦ Place both hands on the knees. Take a deep breath (do Puraka) and do Antar Kumbhaka. Tilt your head forward.

♦ Press the chin into the upper part of the chest (between the ribs). But raise the chest high so that it can easily touch the chin.

♦ Do not press or push the cervical region downwards. Keep the throat muscles relaxed.

♦ Place the chin in the throat and keep the head in a straight line. Now wait for as long as you can do normal Kumbhaka.

♦ Relax the body and raise the head upwards and exhale slowly. This is called Jalandhar Bandh.

♦ Do this repetition 5 to 10 times.

Benefit of Jalandhar Bandha-

(1) It relaxes the mind, destroys the ego and purifies the intellect.

(2) Awakens Vishuddhi Chakra. Purifies speech by removing throat problems.

(3) Removes mental depression, anxiety, stress, anger, irritability.

(4) Increases mental concentration and sharpens memory power. Keeps the entire body healthy.

Note- This can also be done while standing tied.

Maha bandha (Great Lock)

Its name has been given as Mahabandha because in it all the three bandhas are applied together. That is, when Jalandhara Bandha, Uddiyana Bandha and Moolabandha occur together then Mahabandha occurs.

In Sanskrit, maha means “great” and bandha means “lock” or seal. Bandhas are applied to flow prana in the body. Mahabandha can also be called Great Lock, Triple Lock or Supreme Lock.

Mahabandha method-

♦ Sit in any posture for meditation, but mainly sit in Siddha Yogi posture only. In this all three Bandhas have to be applied simultaneously.

♦ Now inhale. First apply Jalandhara Bandha, then apply Uddiyana Bandha and Mula Bandha.

♦ Meditate on all the chakras respectively from Muladhar to Sahasrara. Remain in the same position as per your convenience.

♦ Now open Mula Bandha, Uddiyana Bandha and then Jalandhar Bandha respectively. Inhale slowly and repeat the same sequence after coming to the original position.

♦ Apply this Bandha only after practicing the above three Bandhas thoroughly.

Benefit of Mahabandha-

(1) All the benefits of the above three dams are available from this Mahabandh.

(2) Amazing for horoscope awakening.

(3) To protect the bindu (semen) force.

(4) The mind reaches Shiva-state. As a result, many achievements are automatically achieved.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Physiological effects of bandhas?

Bandha in yoga has physiological effects such as increasing blood flow, improving circulation, enhancing organ function and stimulation of the endocrine system. Additionally, the bandhas contribute to better posture and spinal alignment, increasing stability in the body.

What is the conclusion of bandhas in yoga?

In yoga, the culmination of the practice of bandha is the harmonious integration of breath, body, and energy. This improves physical health and increases mental focus. Bandhas are extremely fruitful for the brain centres, nadis (channels through which prana flows) and chakras (energy centres). Bandhas temporarily restrict blood flow, so when released the flow of fresh blood increases.

Why is bandha important?

Bandhas, or energy locks in yoga, are crucial for enhancing stability, balance, and energy flow. They help activate and channelize prana (life force), fostering physical and mental well-being during yoga practice.

Which bandhas are helpful for reproductive problems?

Mula Bandha, the root lock, is often recommended for addressing reproductive issues in yoga. It involves engaging the pelvic floor muscles, which can help improve blood circulation and energy flow in the pelvic region.

Which bandha is beneficial for constipation?

Uddiyana Bandha, the abdominal lock, is beneficial for constipation as it activates and massages the abdominal organs, promoting digestion and relieving constipation.

Which bandha is beneficial for disease of the intenstine and stomach?

Uddiyana bandha tightens, tones, and cleanses the abdominal muscles. Regular practice of this bandha cures all diseases of stomach and intestines. It gives the body an amazing radiance.

What is the history of bandhas in yoga?

Bandhas have a deep history in yoga that originates from ancient Indian yoga traditions. The concept of bandha can be traced back to ancient texts such as the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. The history of Bandhas begins with the ancient sages and yogis who practiced using these locks to more effectively move prana through their bodies.

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