We live in an energy-starved society. People plan the entire start of their day around when they’ve had their cup of coffee. Our gas stations and grocery stores provide a multitude of energy drinks to keep us powering through the day. It’s an endless cycle of consumption—both physical & consumer—that leaves us continually overstimulated, exhausted, and unable to relax when we have the opportunity for self-care and recreation.
Yoga has a solution to breaking this cycle that teaches how to harness your natural energy. The practice of applying the bandhas allows the practitioner to gain control over their energy system and to direct this energy to the parts of the body they want it to.
What are the Bandhas?
Bandha in Sanskrit means ‘lock.’ The purpose of a bandha is to lock the energy flow in and to, a specific part of the body temporarily. When the lock is released, the energy flows more vigorously through the body promoting overall health and vitality.
On a physical level, a bandha or lock is created when a sphincter and specific muscles in relation to it are contracted. A sphincter is a ring-shaped muscle within the body that relaxes or tightens. This action opens or closes a passage in the body. An example would be within the digestive system where a sphincter regulates the passage of food from the esophagus to the stomach, through the intestines, and out the anus.
There are four types of bandhas:
· Mula Bandha - Root Lock
· Uddiyana Bandha – Abdominal Lock
· Jalandhara Bandha - Chin Lock
· Maha Bandha - Practice of all three Bandhas at the same time.
Benefits of Applying the Bandhas
When the bandhas are applied they activate muscle tissue, and stimulate the organs and the glands of the respective region. For example, the application of Mula Bandha activates the pelvic floor muscles. It tones them and improves their functioning. A scientific study conducted in 2017 with 50 women suffering from symptomatic mild pelvic organ prolapse has shown that a regular practice of Mula Bandha during a three-month period helped reduce the severity of symptoms and improve quality of life in patients with a mild degree of prolapse. [i]
Bandhas also stimulate the chakras by locking the energy around them. When chakras are stimulated by using bandhas, energy circulates more efficiently throughout the body resulting in improved physical and mental vitality.
We are excited to offer an opportunity at Jai Dee Yoga & Wellness for you to come learn how to activate and apply the bandhas to your yoga practice. Join Libby Creagh of Essential You Yoga for our next Harness Your Natural Energy: Working with the Bandhas workshop. On Friday, 10/21 from 6:30-8:30 come learn how this simple yogic technique can transform your practice on and off the mat.
Save your spot here!