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Uddiyana Bandha – Abdominal Lock

August 13, 2012

After having learnt Tataka Mudra you can learn Uddiyana Bandha. As explained in the previous articles, a bandha not only seals the openings of the body to prevent prana leaking out but also directs the prana. In Uddiyana Bandha the prana is directed up towards the crown of the head. This is an important practice to assist with concentration and meditation and also helps with brahmacharya.

Stand with the legs apart and knees slightly bent. Hands are resting on the knees. Breathe out quickly and vigorously and simultaneously bend forward keeping the knees bent and the hands on the knees. Empty the lungs completely. Then without inhaling raise the torso and keeping the hands on the knees, straighten the arms. Also keep the back straight. You will be now standing with the feet apart, knees slightly bent, body leaning forward and back straight. While the lungs are still empty, contract the tummy muscles back towards the spine and upwards towards the chest, thereby forming a hollow with your tummy. Consciously direct the prana upward towards the crown of the head. Hold for as long as is comfortable. As soon as you feel the need to breathe in, slowly release the tummy muscles and breathe in slowly. The in-breath should be calm and smooth and there should be no strain.

Repeat up to six times. Beginners should only do it once. Then follow this with meditation.

To learn this bandha it is advisable to learn under the direction of a yoga teacher. Please note that Uddiyana Bandha should not be practised by students who have high blood pressure.

Written by:

Swami Vidyananda, resident monk at Ananda Kutir Ashrama.

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