Hatha yoga involves “Bandhas,” which require you to lock or isolate specific areas of the body to unleash various health benefits.
When you contract specific muscles, you are able to discover the mental and physical advantages that improve overall well-being.
The three important bandhas include:
- Jalandhara Bandha: Constriction of the throat
- Uddiyana Bandha: Compression of the belly
- Mula Bandha: Contraction of the pelvic floor
Uddiyana Bandha involves the contraction of the abdominal muscles into the rib cage. It is best done on an empty stomach, allowing for better circulation through the organs and the surrounding tissues.
Uddiyana Bandha Directions:
- Stand with your feet hip-width distance apart, your back against the wall and your feet a few inches from the wall.
- Curve your back and bend your knees, keeping your tailbone touching the wall.
- Place both hands on your knees, palms facing downward, and close your eyes.
- Inhale slowly and fully and gradually exhale until the end of your breath, emptying your stomach. Your diaphragm will be at its most expanded form.
- As soon as your exhalation is complete, hold your breath and contract your abdominal muscles inward and upward.
- Hold the abdominal muscles in this manner and take no further breaths.
- When you need to breathe, release the abdominal lock by expanding your belly out with control.
- Inhale slowly with control and avoid gasping for air.
- Practice this technique for up to three rounds.
Benefits of Uddiyana Bandha:
Practicing Uddiyana Bandha with your back upright takes practice, however, the more you engage in this exercise, the more opportunity you have to reap the benefits that come with it.
Benefits of Uddiyana Bandha include the following:
- Promotes strength in the abdominal muscles and diaphragm
- Improves digestion
- Increases blood circulation to the abdomen and in the brain
- Stimulates the respiratory system
Uddiyana Bandha Precautions:
Uddiyana Bandha is best practiced on an empty stomach due to movements that involve the contraction of the abdominal muscles. It is not recommended to practice this exercise after you have eaten as you will experience stomach cramps and symptoms of nausea.
It is best to avoid practicing Uddiyana Bandha under the following circumstances:
- Stomach ulcers
- High blood pressure
- Cardiac problems
- Heart disease
Updated by Siya Rajan on 07/12/2018
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Courtesy The Yoga Institute, Santacruz (E), Mumbai
How to Truly Activate Your Uddiyana Bandha. (2016, November 02). Retrieved from https://www.doyouyoga.com/how-to-truly-activate-your-uddiyana-bandha-18346/
Editors, Y. (2007, August 28). Upward Abdominal Lock. Retrieved from https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/upward-abdominal-lock