Uddiyana bandha is the third of the famous bandha trinity, which also includes mula bandha and jalandhara bandha. These bandhas are often used in ashtanga-vinyasa yoga of Pattabhi Jois. I would personally recommend anyone learn uddiyana as it is very powerful practice and very beneficial for the whole body. Due to some specifics uddiyana sometimes also called mudra (“sign”).
Again, as all the names in yoga, this one also comes from Sanskrit. “Uddiyana” means “soaring, flying high”, and bandha is a “knot”, but often the word ‘bandha’ is not translated since it is a kind of a name for the whole set of yoga techniques. So, the meaning will be: “a high flying bandha“.
Purpose of the Bandha
– To exercise the internal organs, muscles and diaphragmatic strength of abdominal muscles
– For a deep massage of the peritoneum
Bandhas in general act as “capacitors, fuses and switches” according to Iyengar; uddiyana bandha directs prana from the lower part of the body to the head.
Uddiyana Bandha Contraindications
Do not practice:
– With acute gastric ulcer and 12 duodenal ulcer;
– During the menstruation;
– During pregnancy.
Practice with caution in the following cases:
– Pathology of the lungs;
– Cardiovascular disease;
– Diseases of internal organs adjacent to the diaphragm;
– Hernias in the abdominal cavity;
– Weak abdominal muscles or if you have a very large belly.
Uddiyana Bandha Practice and Details
Place your feet at the shoulders width or slightly wider; bend your knees a bit, rest the palms in hips just above the knees, fingers inside. Relax your back muscles as much as you can, shift the weight of your body to the hands, pressed against the knees.
Being in this position, exhale freely, and then do the full yogic breath, followed by the vigorous exhalation. Along with exhalation you need to bend forward to empty your lungs completely, and then return to the previous position, still holding the breath after exhalation. Now do the following:
– Contract the muscles of anus (ashwini mudra), pull the perineum muscles (this is the form of muladhara bandha)
– Do jalandhara bandha
– Pull your abdomen in by the contraction do the diaphragm muscles; with empty lungs it will be easier to do, but do not push yourself too much. Do it slowly, no rushing here, please.
– Remain in this pose holding your breath as long as you can
– To exit the pose you need to release jalandhara bandha, and then relax diaphragm muscles – thus you will have a passive inhalation. Return to the starting position. Repeat 3 times, if you don’t feel tired.
During the asana you need to focus on the process and the sensations that occur in the navel area.
Uddiyana Bandha Benefits
Strengthens and rejuvenates the nerves of the gastrointestinal tract.
Helps release toxins from the digestive tract and colon cleansing.
Makes the best massage of internal organs.
Strengthens and rejuvenates all the endocrine glands of the abdomen.
Strengthens the deep-lying muscles of the back.
Stretches the spine, especially its lower part.
The energy effect:
Energizes the navel energy center (Mashturu chakra).
Promotes the transfer of energy (including sexual) from the lower energy centers (chakras) to the upper ones.
Gives vivacity and lightness throughout the body.
Eliminates and prevents the appearance of hernias.
Eliminates the offset of the internal organs.
Treats diseases of internal organs and stomach.
This Uddiyana bandha technique is not very difficult and I hope you will find this practice very helpful.