The locks in the body, also called Bhandas, are intentioned muscles contractions, with the aim of redirecting the energy flow within the body. This techniques speed up the raise of Kundalini energy, which allows the experience of higher states of consciousness.
To understand the function of the Bhandas we must understand first how the energy flow takes place in the body.
There is a channel of energy that flows INTO the body called Prana, and another channel of energy that flows OUT of the body, called Apana, the elimination channel.
If both of these energies exist in enough amounts, they get redirected to a central channel called Sushmana. When this flow and circulation gets established the Kundalini energy awakens. It can manifest as neutrality, calmness, increase of concentration, clarity, etc.
As the energy rises up through the spine will pass through the energy vertex, called Chakras. This produces a blissful and super-consciousness state.
To see more about Chakras, click here.
The Bhandas can redirect the circulation of the blood, the energy channels, and proper flow of the spinal fluid to a central channel called Sushamana, for the awakening of the kundalini.
There are mainly three locks in the body:
Mula (moola) means root. It’s located by the sexual organs. It’s stimulated by contracting the sex organs, the navel, and the rectum. This motion consists in three parts. First the anal sphincter is contracted, then the sex organs, and third the lower abdominal muscles and the navel towards the spine. There is an upward and inward feeling.
Balances, and stimulates the energies involved in the navel, rectum, and sex organs, redirecting the excess of sexual energy for creativity and body repairs.
It blends Prana and Apana at the Navel center .
It can be apply with the breath in or out, this can not be done with Uddiyana Bhanda because we need to use the diaphragm muscles to breathe in, so it can not be hold in the inhalation.
Prana and Apana must be pressure and mix through Mula Bhanda, at the base of the spine, the generated heat will rise up the Kundalini.
Mula Bhanda can’t be perceived by the naked eye. It’s an internal lock.
It improves digestion, and skin problems, and massages liver, kidneys and spleen.
Uddiyana Bhanda it’s located at the diaphragm level. The element at the solar plexus is fire. The heat opens up the higher center, the heart chakra, the center of true love, kindness, and compassion. It separates the lover triangle where instinct and reaction takes places, with the upper triangle of the body, where more conscious acts come from.
To apply Uddiyana Bhanda one must breathe in, breathe out completely, and while maintaining the breath out hook the abdomen in and up. Hold it around a minute more or less depending on your endurance. At the contrary with Mula Bhanda, Uddiyana Bhanda can be seen by the naked eye very easily. Ones you breathe in again the diaphragm moves and the lock it’s release. Never apply this lock on a full stomach.
In Asthanga Yoga you will always heard to maintain Mula Bhanda and Uddiyana Bhanda through all the sequence, which can be confusing because breathing in unlocks the diaphragm. What it really means its t o maintain a sense of hold at the diaphragm.
See How to Breath Properly
Jalandhara Bhanda it’s located at the trough level, the highest in the body. It directs the energy the central channel preventing the energy to disperse to other areas of the body, like the eyes or the ears. It seals the energy generated by the areas of the brain stem .
Jala means watery secretions of the brain, and Dhara means open gate. Yogi Bhajan explained how the higher glands (pituitary, pineal, and hypothalamus) are stimulated to secrete hormones by doing certain practices. These glands are also related one with another. The pituitary secretions have been represented as a cooling flow that will be mix with the heated flow of the navel and lower areas. Appling this lock concentrates these secretions and opens the relation between them. It also helps to concentrate, bringing the attention inwards.
To apply Jalandhara Bhanda sit comfortably with the spine straight. One must strengthen the neck by bringing the head back and the chin slightly in and back. It seems as if the pyloric valve will close. Not to be confused with just bringing the chin towards your chest.
It can be apply while holding the breath in, as well as when you hold the breath out.
It’s generally used during chanting and meditation unless the contrary it’s specific.
This technique consists in the application of three locks at the same time holding the breath out in a perfect posture and concentration. It is practice after breathing exercises, Pranayama, and postures, Asanas. It said that the body it’s in a perfect healing state.
This Bhanda helps to bring back to balance blood pressure, poor circulation, glands, nerves, menstrual cramps, irregularity.
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