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Seal in the wellness

Jalandhar bandha

The human body can be compared to a house or a scene of exchange; there are many openings or gates; both gross and subtle. It is through these gates that food is ingested and excreted, air is inhaled and exhaled, and energy is absorbed and released. Yogis have discovered that these gates need to be sealed to harness the latent powers in the body.

Bandhas, or seals, are practices that help you close various gates of the body. The bandhas are applied at three crucial points in the body, which also correspond to certain endocrine glands, nerve junctions and the chakras along the spine.

The jalandhar bandha is applied at the throat; udyan bandha is applied at the solar plexus; and the moola bandha at the base of the spine. The moola and jalandhar bandhas shut off the upper and lower openings of the digestive tract, thus shutting the flow of prana vayu upwards and apan vayu downwards; and the udyan bandha enables the intermingling of the two around the solar plexus. Applying all three together is called the maha bandha, which creates a state of no-thought. This is the ultimate aim of the bandhas.

At the basic level, bandhas can be seen as neuromuscular locks that target the endocrine system — a set of glands that release hormones directly into the bloodstream through their semi-permeable walls. The effective production and release of the hormones are enhanced by the practise of bandhas.

For example, doing the jalandhar bandha massages the thyroid and parathyroid glands. The thyroid glands produce thyroxin, which determines the metabolism of the body.

If an obese person performs the jalandhar bandha regularly, there will be weight loss because of the body’s increased metabolic rate.

By working on the entire hormonal system, bandhas act as a potent bridge between the body and the brain, which uses hormones to signal various activities in the body. Thus, bandhas play a vital role in creating harmony between the body and the mind.

Jalandhar bandha

  • Sit in a meditative posture.
  • Inhale and lock chin to chest.
  • Puff the chest up slightly and retain breath for as long as is comfortable.
  • Slowly raise head and exhale.
  • Repeat only three times a day.

Note: Those suffering from spondylitis should put their hands under the chin and perform the bandha.

Benefits

  • Regulates the functioning of the thyroid and improves metabolism.
  • Decreases heart rate and increases breath retention.
  • Relieves stress, anxiety, anger and, in the long run, helps relax.

Udyan bandha

  • Stand with legs apart.
  • Exhale forcefully through mouth while bending forward.
  • Suck in stomach and hold breath.
  • Hold for as long as comfortable.
  • Release the contraction and inhale.
  • Repeat only three times a day.

Benefits

  • Alleviates mild diabetes and stomach ailments such as constipation and indigestion.
  • Abdominal muscles are toned and massaged, and blood circulation around the stomach is enhanced.
  • Helps in the distribution of energy throughout the body.

Moola bandha

  • Sit with back straight.
  • Exhale completely and pull up the genital space and close the anal space.
  • Tighten abdominal muscles and hold breath.
  • Release the bandha and inhale.
  • Repeat only three times a day.

Benefits

  • Stimulates the excretory system and relieves ulcers, constipation and piles.
  • Alleviates frustration and depression.
  • Provides relief from asthma, bronchitis and arthritis.

 

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