Jalandhara bandha (The chin lock)
- Sit in any of the meditative poses which allow the knees to firmly touch the floor. (Sukhasana is not suitable).
- Persons, who cannot sit in padmasana, siddhasana, etc., can do jalandhara bandha while standing.
- Place the palms on top of the knees.
- Relax the whole body and close the eyes.
- Inhale deeply, retain the breath inside, bend the head forward and press the chin tightly against the chest (particularly the sternum).
- Straighten the arms and lock them into position. Simultaneously hunch the shoulders upwards and forwards – this will ensure that the arms stay locked. The palms should remain on the knees.
- Stay in the final position for as long as you are comfortably able to retain the breath.
- Then relax the shoulders, bend the arms, slowly release the lock, raise the head and exhale.
- Repeat when the respiration returns to normal.
This practice can also be performed with the breath retained outside.
- For as long as the practitioner is able to comfortably retain the breath.
- Repeat up to 10 times.
- Ideally performed in conjunction with pranayama and mudras.
- If practiced on its own, after asanas and pranayama but before meditation.
Never inhale or exhale until the chin lock has been released and the head is upright.
Persons suffering from high intracranial blood pressure or heart ailments Should perform these under expert guidance only.
- The chin lock closes the wind pipe and compresses various organs including the sinus receptors which are located in the throat regThese receptors are sensitive to the blood pressure in the jugular vein which supplies blood to the brain. If the pressure is high the receptors send messages to the brain and heart, pressure is low then the heart is speeded up in the same way. The receptors are pressure-sensitive and so the compression they receive during jalandhara bandha slows down the heart and brings tranquility to the mind.
- The thyroid and parathyroid glands are massaged and their functioning improved. These glands, especially the thyroid, have very wide influence on the human organism, growth and sexual functions.
- This technique relieves stress, anxiety and anger.
- It is an excellent preparation for meditative practices.
VARIATION: Standing jalandhara bandha
- Assume standing position, with the feet about 11/2 feet apart.
- Lean forward and place the palms just above the knees.
Exhale (or inhale) deeply and perform the chin lock, retaining the breath.
- Straighten the arms to make the chin lock more rigid.
- Hold the final pose for as long as you are able to.
- Release the chin lock, hold the head up and slowly breathe out or in, as the case may be.
All other details are as given for the sitting form of jalandhara bandha.
Moola bandha (The perineum retraction lock)
- Sit in a meditative pose with the knees firmly on the ground. The best asanas are siddhasana, siddha yoni asana or the more difficult moola bandhasana, since these press the heel into the perineum and thereby automatically help to improve the performance of the bandha.
- Place the palms on the knees.
- Close the eyes and relax the whole body.
- Inhale deeply, retain the breath and perform jalandhara bandha.
- Then contract the muscles in the region of the perineum and draw them upwards.
- This is the final posture.
- Hold this pose for as long as you can comfortably retain the breath.
- Release the contraction of the perineum, slowly raise the head and then slowly exhale.
- Repeat up to 10 times.
This bandha can be performed by initially exhaling and retaining the breath outside while executing the locks, or while holding the contraction for long periods with normal breathing but without jalandhara bandha.
For as long as the practitioner is able to retain the breath.
- After asanas and pranayama but before meditation if performed individually.
- Ideally practised in conjunction with mudras and pranayama.
This bandha must be perfected carefully, preferably under expert guidance.
Limitations-Same as jalandhara bandha.
Beginners may find it difficult to powerfully contract the muscles of the perineum and maintain the contraction for the duration of breath retention. They are recommended to practice regularly. This will make the muscles stronger and develop the practitioner’s control over them.
- In this bandha the region of mooladhara chakra (between the urinary and excretory organs) is contracted and pulled upwards. This forces the apana vayu (vital energy in the abdominal region below the navel) to flow upwards and thereby unite with the prana (vayu, vital energy in the region between the larynx and the base of the heart). This generates vitality and good health.
- It aids in the establishment of brahmacharya and the sublimation of sexual energy.
- It duplicates the benefits of jaland
- The pelvic nerves are stimulated and the associated sexual and eliminative organs are toned.