Bandha – An introduction

The word “Bandha” means bondage, restraint, uniting together or holding together. In this posture certain parts of the body are controlled and contracted. Bandhas are locks; they lock the Prana in certain area. While Nadi is a channel in the body through which the energy flows, Chakras are the flywheels of the body. It is essential to note here that the electricity generated would be fatal if not controlled by transformers, conductors, fuses and insulated wires. Therefore, when ‘Prana’ is made to flow in the yogi’s body through practice of  Pranayama, it is imperative for the subject to employ Bandhas to prevent the scattering of energy and to transport it to the right destination without causing harm anywhere else. When locks or Bandhas are applied, the energy is made to flow in only one direction. Through Bandhas sensory and motor nerves are controlled. Prana is lethal without Bandhas. Three major Bandhas that are essential for Pranayama are

All the three Bandhas should be employed during Kumbhaka( retention of breath after full inhalation or restraint following complete exhalation). They have been compared with safety valves that should be kept shut during the practice of Kumbhakas.