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The guide of Uddiyana Bandha

Uddiyana Bandha is a technique of Hatha Yoga, which consists of a work of breath retention and rib cage. It is a concept frequently associated with the one of Jalandhara Bandha, Maha Bandha and Nauli Yoga, but it is not quite the same.

These are all breath practices, but each has its own specificities and characteristics. So let’s take a look at this kind of contraction and the benefits it can bring you.

What is Uddiyana Bandha?

In Sanskrit Bandha means a lock. In the Bandha-containing yoga exercises, you know in advance that you will have to «lock», to contract one part of your body in one way or another. Like in the Mula Bandha, except that here, it is the abdomen that we will focus.

You will work to contract it by pulling it up to the rib cage, which is much more obvious when you have an empty stomach.

If you practice it in the middle of the digestion phase, you will certainly feel very strong pain (as for many yoga exercises), which is obviously very bad for your body.

In addition, if you practice it almost fasting, you will promote an active circulation of your blood through all the abdominal organs.

The recommended time for this exercise is in the morning, before lunch, because it takes very little time and prepares you for the best to face your day.

How to practice it?

Before you start, it is advisable to practice a few full and deep breaths.

In addition to this, you can proceed to a meditation session, perfect occasion to work your pratyahara.

A woman practicing the Uddiyana Bandha

The basic circuit:

If you are a beginner, it’s better practising it in standing position, inhale and bend the knees, while resting on the lower thighs

  • Exhale completely and, when your lungs are empty, hold your breath
  • In this position, make a “false breath”: you act as if you are inhaling but you block your glottis, which will prevent the air from coming in (practice before). While doing this, extend your neck by retracting your chin

This first movement actually creates an air call at the level of the lungs, which has the effect of raising the diaphragm.

This will put your abdominal wall on your spine, as if it were sucking it up.

To finish Uddiyana Bandha practice, we must make sure to inspire correctly:

  • First, release your stomach and let it round before you even inhale. Do the same for the throat
  • Inhale slowly and climb up

Repeat it 3 to 5 times, taking your breath correctly every time you enter. Do not forget to focus on your Manipura Chakra if you feel comfortable with the exercise.

Illustration of a person who''s breathing the air

The benefits of Uddiyana Bandha

As we said earlier, Uddiyana Bandha is a must at the beginning of the day. It will bring you energy and concentration, as well as a maximum of good waves.

It is for certain the essential ritual 3-4x a week, the more difficult days. It seems so indispensable for some because in everyday life we breathe in a limited way.

Our lungs are constantly under-fed, they only work at about 30% of their capacity, which is obviously harmful to them. Working on the breath will do them a lot of good, and prevent them from vegetating. 

In addition, the contraction  improves digestion, as well as all the blood flow to all the organs that you will stimulate.

That is, the liver, kidneys, spleen, pancreas and colon. So it’s more than beneficial if you have recurring bowel disorders, try it out and tell us what it’s done for you!

It also improves your blood circulation, your breathing, and it can even relieve your hypertension if you suffer from it.

Finally, as we explained in our article on the relationship between yoga and weight loss, it is possible to see effects on your abdominal muscles, which, through repeated contractions, will eventually strengthen.

This is obviously not enough to really lose weight, because it is always much more effective to associate yoga with a more energetic sport such as strength training, running, CrossFit, … 

So here we are at the end of this article on Uddiyana Bandha, and we hope that, like all the others, you liked it. Do not hesitate to share your opinion in comment, we will be happy to respond.


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