Bandhi, or energy locks, are contractions of certain muscles that help hold energy within the body.

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In yoga, it is believed that with the help of bandhas a practitioner closes his energy inside, preventing it from dissipating. Energy moves along the spine from the lower energy center to the higher – sahasrara chakra, and thus the yogi reaches samadhi, that is, a state of enlightenment and unity with the divine beginning.

The most famous and affordable bandhas are: mula bandha – the lower castle, uddiyana bandha – the middle castle and jalanhara bandha – the throat castle.

Mula bandha

To make the lower lock, you need to direct the tailbone down and inward, tighten the anal sphincter, urethra and muscles of the perineum. When you master this lock, you can first try to tighten only the anal sphincter, then the perineum, the urethra, and then try to combine all the movements. In my opinion, making a mula bandha is not so difficult: imagine what you want in the toilet. Pulling up should be easy. At first you are likely to do it too hard, but after a few workouts you will understand how to make it easier.

Mula Bandha is the base castle of yoga. It must be kept during the performance of all asanas except shavasana, and during most pranayamas. Mula bandha helps maintain muscle tone in the lower press, normal blood circulation in the abdominal cavity, and the correct position of the spine and hip joints. Most often, it needs to be held statically, but there are dynamic options with alternating retention and relaxation. They are performed in combination with pranayama (holding on inhalation and relaxing on exhalation), are often used in prenatal and postnatal yoga and are very useful for people suffering from enuresis or other diseases of the genitourinary sphere.

Uddiyana Bandha

The middle lock can be full or light. The mild form of uddiyana bandha is a slight tightening of the abdominal muscles, which should be performed while holding the asanas for a more complete and balanced work of the mind and all organs of the body. Uddiyana bandha is contraindicated only during pregnancy.

Full uddiyana bandha is usually performed in the practice of pranayama during breath holding on exhalation: when exhaling, you need to strongly tighten the navel to the spine and direct the abdominal muscles under the ribs. So a vacuum is created in the stomach, so the middle lock is sometimes called a vacuum breath hold.

The easiest way to learn Uddiyana Bandha is by standing. First, perform several breathing cycles using the kapalabhati technique (sharp intensive exhalation and arbitrary inhalation), and then exhale slightly bend your knees and rest your palms on your hips, while drawing in your stomach.