Uddiyana Bandha (Abdominal-lock)
The literal meaning of Uddiyan is” Flying up“. It is a restraint. Bandhas regulate the flow of Prana ( Energy). This Bandha comprises of the flow of Prana from the lower abdomen towards the head. It is known that through Uddiyana Bandha vital life force is made to flow up through the spinal cord (Susumna Nadi) ; the main path for the flow of nervous energy, that is situated inside spinal column (Merudanda).
- Stand in Tadasana.
- Keep the legs a foot apart.
- Bend slightly forward, bending the knees a little and rest the hands with spread fingers on the middle of the thighs.
- Lower the hands until the chin is placed in the notch between the collar bones on top of the breast bone.
- Take deep breath, exhale quickly in order to force the air out of the lungs.
- Hold the breath ( without any inhalation). Pull back the whole abdominal region towards the spine. Contract the abdominal region and lift it up towards the breast bone , press the hands against the thighs.
- Lift the hands from the thighs while maintaining the abdominal grip and place them on the hips.
- Keep the legs and the back erect without loosening the abdominal grip or raising the chin from the breast bone.
- The abdominal muscles should be relaxed without moving the chin and the head.
- Take slow and deep breath.
- Do not inhale while in position from 6-9.
- Stay in the posture as per capacity.
- Take a few breaths and repeat the procedure from 1-10. Don’t repeat the procedure more than 6-8 times at a stretch in a day.
- The cycle should be done only once in a day.
- It is to be practised on empty stomach after evacuating bladder and the bowels.
- Practise it first in standing position followed by sitting position for preparation of Pranayama.
- Do it during exhalations (Rechaka) and retention of breath (Kumbhaka) while practising Pranayama.
It should be performed only during Bahya Kumbhaka following rechaka( the interval between complete exhalation and inhalation when breath is held. Never attempt it during antara kumbhaka (interval between complete inhalation and the beginning of exhalation when breath is retained) otherwise it might lead to strain on the heart and the diaphragm.
Benefits It is known to be beneficial in the following ways
- It enhances digestion.
- Tones the abdominal organs.
- Detoxifies the digestive tract.