What is a Bandha?

In Sanskrit, Bandha means to lock, hold or bind. We have three major bandhas, Mula bandha, Uddiyana Bandha, and Jalandara Bandha.  Treta Bandha, triple lock, means to activate all three Bandhas together and we call that Maha Bandha. The teachings from the ancient yogis tell us to master the bandhas is to master the practice.  That sounds like years of serious work!

Underneath these subtle yet intense physical movements the masters of yoga are talking about prana, life force, moving through our bodies and really prana moves through everything in the entire universe.  This type of practice activates the unseen universal life force that we all have inside of us at the deepest part of our core.

As we mature in our yoga practice it is important to move beyond just the asana (physical postures). Yoga is about more than a posture.  Asana is the preliminary stage of a yoga where we purify and strengthen the body.  As we grow in our practice we move towards working deeper with our mind and energetic body.  Bandhas are psycho-physiological contractions. Asana breaks down our energy and with bandhas we collect and gather our energy.  The subtle body is highly intelligent and can have profound changes on the body, mind, and spirit.

Be patient with yourself and remember yoga is a life long practice where we are constantly working on our personal growth.  Bandhas are another great tool to have in our pockets as we truly embody the path of a yogi.  Enjoy:)

Ramblings from Haley’s mat…