Uddiyana Bandha - Abdominal Lock
In Sanskrit, "Uddiyana" refers to 'flying'. In this bandha the diaphragm is raised up to the thoracic region.
- Stand erect with your feet fairly apart.
- Bend your head and trunk forward.
- Bend your knees forward.
- Place your hands on your thighs.
- Grasp the thighs a little above the knee.
- Raise your head and relax your abdominal muscles.
- Exhale completely with force.
- Simultaneously contract the abdominal muscles.
- Hold your breath and do not let any air into your lungs.
- Press your hands gently on the thighs and perform 'mock inhalation'. Keep your glottis closed to prevent air from flowing into your lungs.
- Expand the thoracic cage and raise the ribs quickly followed by relaxation of abdominal muscles.
- When the ribs rise, your relaxed diaphragm will also move upwards.
- At the same time, the abdominal front muscles get sucked inwards and up towards the ribs. As a result the thoracic cavity vacuum is automatically filled up.
- A deep depression takes place in the relaxed abdominal wall. The abdomen assumes a hollow concave shape.
- Concentrate on the solar plexus.
- Hold on to this position without any air in the lungs for as long as you comfortably can.
- Inhale slowly and deeply to bring the chest and abdomen back to its original shape.
- Return to the starting position by straightening your head, trunk and legs.
- Take rest for about 15 seconds between two rounds.
- You can perform three rounds of the bandha.
- Menstruating and pregnant women should not perform this bandha.
- High blood pressure and heart patients should not perform this yoga bandha.
- It strengthens the abdominal muscles and diaphragm.
- The lung capacity increases with practice of Uddiyana bandha.
- Your abdominal muscles become more resilient.
- Uddiyana bandha tones up the solar plexus - the root locations of all the nerves.
- The coordination between voluntary and the involuntary nervous systems improves.
- Blood circulation to the abdominal muscles increases.
- Vital organs such as heart, stomach, liver, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, gall bladder, the transverse colon, get massaged and thus their performance gets enhanced with this yoga bandha.
- Increased mobility of the diaphragm helps you take deeper and fuller breaths.