The term Bandhas refers to a set of fundamental yoga practices that are based on intentionally contracting muscles for the purpose of circulating the flow of energy throughout the body.
When the Bandhas are performed, the muscles contract and this generates a kind of massage in the organs that are inside the body, in addition it suppresses the blood that is static in these, while at the same time it induces the nerves that can damage such organs.
In a precise way, the Bandhas are considered to be a system belonging to the advanced practices of Yoga, and their main function is to optimize how fast the consciousness can become.
The word Bandha has a meaning related to linking, tying together, blocking, closing. In addition the same word also refers to the knowledge of the form in which the energy circulates through the body.
It is important to note that people have two means by which energy circulates, in one the energy is able to circulate inside and is called Prana, the other energy circulates outside and is called Apana.
If both media are managed to function symmetrically and flow in a suitable manner, then the circulation of energy will be directed towards a central zone called Sushmana.
If such circulation is kept stable, then the energy known as Kundalini will be able to be activated. It will rise up the spine and maintain a balance in the chakras bringing the person to a state where awareness and happiness predominate.
Types of Bandhas
There are three main types of Bandhas, which are called: Jalandhara Bandha which is located in the throat and acts on the pituitary gland; Uddiyana Bandha which is located in the abdomen and acts on the pancreas and also on the amount of adrenaline produced by the body; and Mula Bandha which is located in the perineum and its effects are on the gonads and the perineum itself.
These Bandhas can be performed in different ways, each one of them can be practiced independently or in isolation, or they can be performed in combination with other classic Yoga postures.
But if you want to learn how to correctly implement the Bandhas, then it is best that you choose to practice them individually and not together with any other type of asana, since this way your learning will be more effective and you will be able to master them more quickly.
– Jalandhara Bandha: It is well known for its association with throat isolation or disruption. Its function is to control the circulation of energy that passes through the neck, and this can be manifested physically through the blood vessels and nerves that are located in that area of the body.
– Uddiyana Bandha: The meaning of the term ‘Uddiyana’ is related to the words elevate and fly. This Bandha was so named because when it is performed by blocking it causes the diaphragm to rise a little towards the chest.
– Mula Bandha: The term ‘Mule’ is translated as root or base. The reason for this name is that when this Bandha is performed, the contraction that occurs starts from the base or root of the spine, specifically in the perineal area and the cervix also contracts. But when the practice of this Bandha is taken to a more advanced level, not only can the perineum and cervix contract, but also the Muladhara Chakra can be blocked.
– Maha Bandha: The word ‘Maha’ means big. And therefore, Maha Bandha is a large Lock, which is made up of the three Bhandhas indicated above, and it is possible to obtain the benefits of all the Bandhas by uniting them in a single practice.
This Bandha has a lot of power and when it is being performed it requires a lot of concentration and also awareness.
Benefits of the Bandhas
– When air is retained in the lungs, this Bandha prevents the side effect of the pressure caused by the retained air acting on a higher level of the glottis, if this is not avoided then the brain and ears may be damaged.
– When breathing is held for a long time, it causes an increase in blood pressure which can lead to palpitations.
However with the Jalandhara Bandha it is possible to counteract this because the pressure exerted by its practice on the carotid sinus area expands to the heart thus decreasing the heart rate.
– When this type of Bandha is performed, a kind of massage is given to the organs that make up the abdominal area.
It also optimizes the functions of the digestive system, and also serves as a therapeutic way to combat the ailments or diseases caused by the malfunctioning of certain organs.
Therefore it is very effective to treat problems such as constipation, diabetes, some prolapses, aerophagy, etc.
– It stimulates the circulation of energy to the upper body, so that the natural direction of energy flow changes, which is usually downwards.
And if this Bandha is carried out in conjunction with the other two types of Bandhas remaining, it causes various chakras in the body to be activated. However, the latter is not so easy to achieve, as it requires practice and experience.
– When the Mula Bandha is performed, certain parts of the body contract, and this generates an increase in the amount of blood that circulates in the perineal area and can also strengthen the nerves of the pelvis.
At the same time it induces the functioning of the organs located in that part of the body.
– It causes a flood of nerve impulses and energy to the upper body, so that it stimulates some areas of the brain.
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