Uddiyana Bandha18 Aug 2016
The upward flying abdominal lock is located three fingers below the navel, it is a compression of the digestive organs, adrenal glands, kidneys and solar plexus on the physical level which correspond to the Manipura Chakra on the pranic level. The bandhas aim is to lock prana in certain areas and redirect their flow into sushumna nadi so that it flows upwards to sahasrara chakra, for the purpose off spiritual awakening. Therefore it is more of an energetic practice than a physical one.
When engaging Uddiyana within an asana practice, it can help give lightness and height, it can be performed along with Mula and Jalandhara bandhas, known as Maha, or the great lock, along with mudras and pranayama.
Uddiyana lock should be performed on an empty stomach and ideally with empty bowels. It is easier to perform after an inverted asana. If performed on its own it should be at the end of asana and prior to meditation. Uddiyana can be performed from a sitting position, once experience is gained standing or as T.K.V. Desikachar suggests a supine position. I have only performed Uddiyana from standing as described below.
- Feet should be roughly hip width apart
- Inhale deeply through nose, then exhale quickly and forcibly through nose or pursed lips while folding torso forward to exhale as much as possible from lungs. Then relax abdominals.
- Lift chest, press arms straight on bent knees and perform a mock inhalation which will pull abdominal muscle and viscera into the expanded thorax. Engage Jalandhara bandha. Hold for five to fifteen seconds.
- Slowly release the abdominal grip and inhale normally through nose perform three to five rounds with one or more normal breaths in between.
Performing Uddiyana has many benefits, the internal organs, abdominal muscles, heart and lungs are massaged, strengthened and toned, the solar plexus is stimulated which aids the distribution of energy throughout the body, reversing the flow of prana and apana uniting them with samana and stimulating Manapura chakra. Improves digestion, stimulates liver and pancreas, purifies the digestive tract of toxins, stimulates blood circulation throughout the torso, and balances adrenal glands. This practice can be further enhanced by performing Nauli, abdominal massaging, only once uddiyana is perfected.
The contraindications of this practice are, high blood pressure, post operation, glaucoma, hernia, stomach complaints, early menstruation, pregnancy or attempted pregnancy.