There are three fitness regimes that one usually follows. One constitutes of dieting, a juice fast or gluten cleanse, skipping meals for a greater body eventually falling prey to minor body issues which unattended might perish you. The second is the gym enrollment with monthly and yearly subscription fee, a hard sweat breakout every morning followed by a healthy meal and a tight cutting schedule.
The last one is yoga, a slow paced body movement exercise with minor stretches and twists performed form the comforts of their own home. In today’s article we shall venture out on the third path, yoga and elaborate about one such stance called the Uddiyana bandha. The steps and the benefits to it will also be discussed.
What is Uddiyana bandha?
UḍḍīyanaBandha in Sanskrit means moving up from mula bandha and that’s how we have the second bandha, Uddiyana. In Sanskrit uddiyana means to fly up, or to rise up. This ‘flying up lock’ is consequently about your insides flying upwards, elusively meaning your energy, tangibly meaning your diaphragm, stomach, and abdominal organs.
Uddiyana Bandha is the best remedy for abdominal and stomach ailments, from constipation to indigestion. It stimulates the digestive juices, increasing metabolism, and tones the overworked abdominal organs. It also balances the adrenal system, relieving stress, lethargy and tension. It is the best way to get flat washboard abs without any crunches.
How To Do it?
The name Uddiyana bandha means upper bind where ‘Uddiyana’ stands for upward and the later meaning a tie or a bond. The English name for this pose is called the abdominal lock pose, which in literal sense is the final stance of the yoga. This may seem difficult at the initial stages but with practice you can master this posture as well.
However, there are a few restrictions that one must abide before performing this pose. Yogic experts strictly ask you to perform this with an absolute empty stomach. There are different variations and co poses that might be put to use while performing this but at the initial stage, it is best that you perform this yoga in a standing position.
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- Start by standing upright on your yoga mat, spine straight and neck aligned to the spine as your arms rest on your side. If you are sitting down, you should maintain the Padmasana with your legs crossed. Prior to the abdominal lock, you should opt for the chin lock or the Jalandhara Bandha.
- Now slowly inhale deeply and as you exhale, curve your shoulders inwards, your arms resting on your thigh as you tilt forward a bit.
- Rest your palms on your thighs or knees in case you are sitting.
- The exhale should be deep and simultaneously you should contract your abdominal muscles and push them upward by tensing the lower muscles. Hold and lock the position for a minute before retracing your steps back to square one.
A word of caution should go out to the practitioners who are starting out new. Soon after the yoga you might feel a soft muscle pain in your stomach area, which is nothing but the muscles relaxing itself after the contraction. With practice your muscles will ease on to it as well. Often if you are weak bodied, you might feel light headed as you unlock your chin. At this time a back support, maybe a wall behind you might help you break your fall.
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How Does it Help Us?
- The first and foremost benefit of this yoga is stronger abdominal muscles. As you pressurize your abdomen and push the organs upwards, the muscles including the organs feel a good massage which would go on to give you a healthy better functioning abdomen.
- This brings us to the menstrual cycle irregularities which can be coped well with this yoga posture.
- This yoga improves blood circulation throughout the body. This starts from the pressure area, where the brain now in a chin lock gets the signal and sends a blood flow down the body, washing out your heart, lungs and stomach organs as well. This is why it is god for your lungs and heart as well.
- It improves digestion, assimilation, and elimination; and purifies the digestive tract of toxins
- This stimulates and lifts the energy of the lower belly (apanavayu) and unites with the energies localized in the navel (samanavayu) and heart (pranavayu)
- It helps distress and take away tensions
- It improves the function of the pancreas and the liver
- Uddiyana Bandha massages all the organs in the abdomen region.
- This yogic pose can lead to liberation. Uddiyana Bandha pushes the pranic flow towards the Sushumnanadi. Sushumna is associated with the central nervous system and thereby enhances the awareness that aids in higher practices of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.
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Perform only on an empty stomach! Do not practice this Bandha if you have high blood pressure, heart diseases, ulcers of the stomach and intestine. Do not practice this yoga during pregnancy. This yoga must be practiced after asanas and pranayama and before meditation. It may also be practiced along with pranayama and mudras. Please ensure you practice under the guidance of a teacher!
Working with your core and breathing promote calmness, a sense of being emotionally grounded; Uddiyana Bandha activates the relaxation response.