Have you ever heard of Bandhas? What are they and why are they important in yoga?


The bandhas are not seen, but their effect is perceived on the entire practice. The bandha (seal, bond), are muscle contractions that have the task of balancing the internal pressure at the pelvic level, diaphragmatic and throat levels.

The bandhas therefore improve flexibility, blood flow and lymphatic circulation. The three main ones are: moola bandha, i.e. the contraction of the pelvic floor the area between the anus and the genitals; uddiyana bandha, contraction of the diaphragm; jalandhara bandha, contraction of the throat. Carrying them out during the execution of asanas burns waste and toxins and if carried out well improves all the practice.


Below we shall see which are the main bandhas.

Mula bandha is carried out by contracting the muscles amongst the anus and the genitals. The basic practice translates into: tightening the perineal area during inhalation, releasing during exhalation. During the execution of the asanas contraction can be maintained for the duration of the position and then to the different breaths. Moola bandha brings great benefits for all the genital apparatus, prevents problems such as haemorrhoids, anal and uterine prolapses, and minor episodes of incontinence.
It also improves sexual practice for both men and women. This exercise is completely invisible and can be practiced at any time. carrying out this bandha makes the energetic, tiring and balance postures more stable and effective. Finally it can prevent the onset of hernias, both for the containment effect given by the contraction, also because the muscles and the abdominal and pelvic walls are reinforced.

Uddiyana bandha means lifting of the diaphragm. However doing it as an exercise in itself has different characteristics with respect to the contraction of the diaphragm during the positions. That is, in fact, to raise as much as possible the diaphragm, precisely, towards the inside of the ribcage after exhaling all the air possible. We must carry it out on an empty stomach and seeing it in people who are very lean can be impressive because it creates the appearance of a real half-dome at the base of the ribcage.
This bandha done as an exercise therefore invigorates the diaphragm and massages the heart, liver, spleen and intestine, with a very beneficial effect for the digestion. If practiced during the positions instead, together with  moola bandha and jalandhara bandha the aesthetic effect of uddiyana bandha is less spectacular because it is limited to a contraction of the area of the diaphragm and of the abdominal bands.

This bandha is that of closing the chin.

Sit in a meditative position that allows your knees to touch stably the floor.
Persons who cannot sit in padmasana siddhasana, etc., can carry out jalandhara bandha standing.
Put your palms hands over your knees.
Soften the whole body and close your eyes.
Inhale deeply and hold your the breath inside, bend your head forward and press your chin firmly against your chest (particularly against the sternum).
Straighten your arms and block them in position.
Simultaneously raise your shoulders upwards and forward – this ensures that your arms remain locked in position.
Your palms should remain on your knees.
Stay in the final position until you are comfortably able to hold your breathe.
Then relax your shoulders, bend your arms, slowly let go of the closure, raise your head and exhale.
Repeat when breathing returns to normal.

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