Connecting with our inner energy
The practice of yoga is vast, and I am continuously coming across more complex concepts that I want to explore to be able to enjoy everything this philosophy has to offer. The Bandhas are one of them.
In Sanskrit, the word Bandha means ‘key’, and it is the intentional contraction of certain muscles in specific parts of the body. Through this exercise we activate our inner energy, which, if you read my last blog entry on the Ujjayi breath, you might remember is called prana, and we make it flow through the body with increasing force.
The different Bandhas can be practised on their own, with or without movement, or they can be incorporated into the practice of yoga postures or asanas. There are three energy points in our body where Bandhas can be practised
– Jalandhara Bandha, the contraction of the glottis and the control of the energy network that flows through it, similar to Ujjayi breath.
– Uddiyana Bandha, the contraction of the abdominal area like in hypopressive abdominal exercises which I’m sure you’ve heard about, maybe more so if you are a mother. You can see how I practice this one in the picture above.
– Mula Bandha, the contraction of the perineal area like in Kegel exercises. This muscle activation is highly recommended for women of all ages.
I am still working out how to incorporate these exercises into my yoga self-practice. They require great concentration and presence, something that I do not have much of lately, and of which I am not very proud, but I do what I can. I try to practise these different Bandhas individually. For example, I add Uddiyana Bandha to my down dogs. Mula Bandha is something I try to use off the mat as well, and I use any opportunity to activate it, and Jalandhara Bandha is a new friend who I am still only getting to know…
Ideally the theory of this practice needs to become well-known in order to be able to practise it. As I always recommend, it would be great to have your first introduction to Bandhas with an instructor, although it is wonderful to be open to exploring with your body by yourself, and I am an expert at that 😉
I don’t know if I will ever experience what Yogi masters explain. They say that if you master these exercises you can achieve an energy connection with something greater, something beyond you; I presume they mean the energy of the universe…
MAYBE YOU'RE INTERESTED…