In hatha yoga, the bandhas are called the ‘locks of the body’. These are areas of the body that are separated and compressed in some way to unlock the benefits. There are three major personal bonds in hatha yoga:
- Jalandhara Bandha (Tightening of the throat),
- Uddiyana Bandha (Compression of the abdomen) and
- Moola Bandha (Narrowing of the pelvic floor).
Together these three bands are called Maha Bandha. It is the lock of one body that connects these three major bandhas in one big contraction.
What is Uddiyana Bandh?
In Sanskrit, Uddiyana (pronounced oo-di-yana) means “flying”, which tones, massages and cleanses the abdominal organs and deep internal muscles.
Uddiyana bandha is the lock that lifts the stomach or lifts it upwards. In this bandha, a practitioner simultaneously lifts the abdominal wall inwards and upwards, while holding the breath just after exhalation. During the entire process of Uddiyana Bandha, it creates a vacuum in your chest which allows better circulation of blood to all the abdominal organs.
This is the first bandha that is performed for Nauli Kriya. Also, it is one of the important stages in Basti Kriya and Vajroli Mudra. Uddiyan Bandha is also known as Upward Flying Lock. It is an essential exercise for health and energy flow. This exercise helps the digestive organs.
This bandha massages the solar plexus and abdominal muscles and releases toxins. Uddiyana Bandha is the perfect practice if you want to activate your energy flow.
The Science behind Uddiyana Bandh–
Our sushumna is connected to the central nervous system. Hence it enhances spiritual awareness and aids in higher practices of meditation, dharana and samadhi. Uddiyana bandha helps to create a distinct sensation of suction which helps to reverse the smooth flow of apana and makes it possible to carry the pranic energy upwards. It activates and awakens our solar plexus. It improves the functioning of all the organs associated with it.
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Prepatory poses for Uddiyana Bandh
Before attempting Uddiyana Bandha, you should practice these yogasanas. These poses will help you activate the muscles.
- Dandasana – Staff Pose
- Badha Konasana – Bound Angle Pose
- Paschimottanasana – Sitting, Leaning Forward
- Virasana – Hero Pose
- Viparita Karani – Legs Up Wall
- Downward facing dog
- Sarvangasana – Shoulder Stand
- Supta Virasana – Reclining Hero Pose
- Sirsasana – Headstand
Health Benefits of Uddiyana Bandh
1. Uddiyana Bandha mainly strengthens the muscles of the abdominal region. It is like an exercise for the abdominal muscles. This exercise massages the heart and lungs resulting in better functioning of these muscles. It increases the digestive fire in the body. And purifies the toxins from our body.
2. The practice of Uddiyana Bandha increases blood circulation throughout the body and brain, which makes the brain healthy. Along with this practice helps in getting a youthful mind and body. You feel young both physically and mentally. Thus, practice makes you younger again.
3. The practice of Uddiyana Bandha inverts apana vayu (energy of the lower abdomen) upwards and connects it with parana vayu (energy of the heart) and samana vayu (energy of the navel). This bandha creates a unique flow of parana energy in our bodies. It activates the Manipura Chakra, improving the function of all the organs associated with it.
4. Uddiyana Bandha helps to awaken the Kundalini energy to stimulate the Anahata Chakra
Method For beginner-
- You first start by standing with your feet slightly wider than hip-width.
- You can stand against a wall for extra support if you need to.
- Now inhale deeply through your nose and move your arms overhead.
- Now bring your hands on your thighs and bend your knees.
- As you press your thighs down with your hands. Now arch your back like in cat pose.
- Now exhale quickly and completely to expand the diaphragm to the most extended position.
- Now while exhaling, straighten your arms.
- Now suck in your stomach and pull it into your spine.
- Now pull your stomach as much as you can and start pulling it in the rib. Now expand the rib cage and do a fake inhalation as if you are breathing but don’t really breathe.
- This bandha pulls the abdominal muscles and the viscera into the chest. Due to which it hollows the stomach and gradually raises the abdominal organs.
- Hold this bandha for as long as you can without breathing as per your capacity. When you can’t hold back, inhale through your nose and stand up.
- Now extend your arms upwards. Now exhale to bring your arms back down so that the abdominals come back to their position.
- It may be difficult to maintain proper contraction of your abdominal muscles in the beginning. You can increase your grip to 2 minutes or more with practice according to your ability.
If you are having trouble performing Uddiyana Bandha, this could be the reason.
Lack of attention. Performing Uddiyana Bandha requires a lot of attention in the abdominal area. Your slightest disturbance can prevent you from performing this bandha correctly. Try to avoid all these disturbances and focus on the abdominal part.
Not breathing out enough. In this bandha, you need to keep exhaling completely. The more you exhale, the more lift you can get. You have to exhale enough of it for you to achieve your full capacity to lift the belly.
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Contraindications and Precautions:-
- You need to take the following precautions in order to get the best out of this bandha and practice Uddiyana bandha safely.
- If you have a problem of heart, then you should not do Uddiyana Bandha. Practicing this bandha can cause your blood pressure to rise rapidly.
- Uddiyana Bandha is not recommended for patients with ulcers and hernias.
- A woman should not practice this bandha during pregnancy. This bandha can adversely affect the health of both the unborn and the mother.
- Uddiyana bandha should not be practiced during the menstrual cycle of women.
- You should do this exercise on an empty stomach, if you do it immediately after a meal, it can cause stomach pain and indigestion.
- Practice this bandha according to your ability
Q-1 When can I apply Uddiyana Bandha?
A- When starting the practice of Uddiyana Bandha, remember that you should do it only on an empty stomach. Do Jalandhara Bandha with them at the time when you wear Bandha.
Q-2 Which Kriya is useful for the practice of Uddiyana bandha?
A- This is the first bandha performed for Nauli Kriya. Also, it is one of the important stages in Basti Kriya and Vajroli Mudra.
Q-3 How do you close your belly?
A- As you exhale in this bandha, you pull your torso down towards your thighs. Now hold your breath at the very end of the exhalation and slowly pull it away from the thighs. With this, you suck the navel back towards the spine. When your hands stop this movement, tension is created which results in upward compression of the abdominal organs and diaphragm. This is how your stomach gets locked.
Q-4 What is the purpose of Uddiyana Bandh?
A- This bandha helps to lift the energy through the center of your core. This bandha elevates the energy, it also accelerates the upward energy from the Moola bandha and the lower energy from the Jalandhara bandha.
Q-5 What are the major benefits of Uddiyana bandha?
- It strengthens abdominal muscles and diaphragm.
- It Increases lungs capacity.
- It improves the coordination between the voluntary and involuntary nervous systems.
- It massages abdominal muscles.
- Massages vital organs such as the heart, stomach, liver, pancreas, kidneys, gallbladder and thus enhance their performance.
- It improves digestion.
- It purifies the digestive tract of toxins.
- It stimulates blood flow to the brain
At the end- This bandha exercise helps a lot in maintaining celibacy. It bestows the practitioner with beautiful health, vigor, vigor, and vitality. When this bandha is combined with Nauli Kriya, it acts as a powerful gastro-intestinal tonic. It gives you the strength to fight against constipation, weak intestinal peristalsis, and other disorders of the esophagus. No one can match Uddiyan Bandh and Nauli.
These are unique and unmatched among all systems of physical exercise. In chronic diseases of the stomach and intestines, where all kinds of medicines have failed, Uddiyan and Nauli have provided a fast, complete, and wonderful cure.
Uddiyana Bandha is a bandha in which contraction of your abdomen takes place and it moves up into your rib cage. It is an important form of hatha yoga asana which can have many benefits for the mind, body, and soul. When you practice it regularly it improves the functioning of your abdominal organs and also improves blood circulation to all parts of your body. For this reason, practicing Uddiyana Bandha has a highly refreshing effect on your entire body.
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