The word Bandha is commonly translated as a lock, literally meaning “to connect.“ When activated Bandhas engage specific muscle tissues and as a result stabilize asanas, regardless of the position of the body. They also contain the Prana in the central region of the body, more specifically, in three main energy channels. The three Bandhas connected with these channels are
Uddiyana means to raise up or to fly. In Uddiyana Bandha the diaphragm raises to the chest, and abdominal organs get close to the spine. It is often put out as the most essential Bandha. There are many reasons for this. For example, it is believed that the regular practitioners of Uddiyana Bandha get young again as a result of the practice. That is because it engages and strengthens the muscles in the abdomen, and it is one of the best passive yoga exercises for a stronger core. People new to Bandhas will most likely feel sore in the abdominal region after practicing. That is good, as it is one of the signs that it has been practiced correctly.
The starting position for practicing Uddiyana Bandha alone should be the meditation pose or a standing position. If done in standing position, legs should be slightly bent, and the hands should be placed on the thighs, moving the torso forwards. It creates the best movement for abdominal organs.
The practitioner should exhale completely and perform the Uddiyana Bandha during Bahya Kumbhaka. This term describes the period when a person holds a breath after exhalation. It should not be done during Antara Kumbhaka, or the period of breath holding between inhalation and exhalation. It would create pressure on the heart and diaphragm and would result in swelling of the eyes. After the complete exhalation, the practitioner should raise their chest as they would during the inhalation, only they don’t actually let the air in. The abdominal muscles will automatically come in and up as a result, like they usually do during the correct inhalation. The position should be held for as long as comfortable. After this period, the posture should be released leaving space for deep inhalation. Before the next round, it is recommended to breathe normally for a few moments.
It is of great importance to practice Uddiyana Bandha on an empty stomach. Thus, the best time of the day to practice would be the first thing in the morning. People with high blood pressure and women during pregnancy and menstruation should avoid Uddiyana Bandha.
Besides being a great exercise for core strength, Uddiyana Bandha has many other benefits as well. It can help in the healing of all digestive and abdominal issues such as constipation, bad digestion, diabetes, etc. It stimulates the digestive fire which cures all the abdominal organs. Liver, pancreas, kidneys, spleen and the heart muscle are massaged. It also activates the Manipura chakra, the third chakra in the body, which represents personal power and energy and is connected with the digestive system.