27 Oct 2020 HYN Himalayan Yoga Academy
YOGIC BANDHA AND SPIRITUAL IMPORTANCE: PART V
Maha is a Sanskrit word meaning “great.” As such, this final bandha may also be called the “supreme bandha” or Tribandha (“triple lock).” Maha bandha is named as such because it provides the health benefits of all three previous bandhas. Jalandhara Bandha, Uddiyana Bandha and Mula Bandha are applied together to formulate Maha Bandha. Since it is the combination of all three locks, it is recognized as ‘the great lock’. The Sanskrit word ‘Maha’ also stands for ‘great’. The practice of Maha Bandha brings together the benefits of all three bandha.
Importance of Maha Bandha:
Maha Bandha requires a great deal of physical strength as it is an advanced practice. You must have mastered (if not mastered then at least sufficiently good at) all three bandhas separately before commencing to ‘the great lock’. The practice of Maha Bandha promotes the awakening of Kundalini Shakti, a form of primal energy.
In bandhas, we actually contract some specific body muscles. This is done by holding the breath for a while, to bind prana energy within us. There are three major Bandhas, Jalandhara, Uddiyana and Moola Bandha, that lock the energy in the throat, abdomen, and pelvis.
When we combine three major bandhas, we form Maha bandha. In Maha Bandha, we perform Jalandhara, Uddiyana and Jalandhara Bandha together to get maximum benefits of these three bandhas. Ones these all practices are masted, we perform all these practices together in Maha Bandha as the last step of Bandhas.
Maha Bandha Technique :
Sit in a meditative posture to begin your practice. Padmasana or Siddhasana is the ideal posture for practicing any of the three bandha. But one must be completely comfortable in either of them. Sukhasana is a good pose for such people for whom Padmasana or Siddhasana is uncomfortable.
Sit straight keeping the spine erect. Put both of your palms on your knees. Relax the whole body and be aware of your breaths.
Now take slow and deep breaths. After an inhalation, exhale forcefully moving all the breath out completely. Hold the breath outside.
Retain the breath or locks for as long as it feels comfortable. Do not strain. Even 3 seconds are sufficient for a beginner.
To release the three locks, start with Mula Bandha, then Uddiyana Bandha and in the end Jalandhara Bandha.
Take a slow inhalation after bringing the head in upright position. One round completes here.
Relax the whole body taking easy breaths. Let the eyes remain closed. Once the breath comes back to its normal rhythm, you are ready to practice again.
Practice 2 times initially. As you begin to feel more efficient in your practice, gradually add one more round till you reach 5 rounds.
Benefits of Bandhas
-Maintains cardiovascular health.
-Activates all the organs of the area, where Bandha is applied.
-Gives relief from a variety of headaches, mood disorders, and sleep disorders.
-Strengthens the immune system and metabolism and Stimulates all glands of the endocrine system
-Helps in better digestion, respiration, and extraction of waste from the body.
-Makes us more concentrated and alert and Calms the brain and strengthens our emotions
-Helps in Kundalini awakening by stimulating Mooladhara (root), Manipura(heart) and Vishuddhi (throat) Chakra.
-Strengthens the autonomic nervous system 2 and parasympathetic nervous system 3
-It helps to purify the body and mind.
The Sequence of Bandha
When we talk about the bandha, one thing where we stuck commonly is the sequence of bandha. In other words, which bandha should we practice first?
Maha bandha is practiced by performing the first three bandhas simultaneously, beginning with jalandhara bandha, uddiyana bandha and ending with mula bandha. These bandhas are released in the reverse order, with mula bandha first, Uddiyana bandha and jalandhara bandha last.
You must not practice Maha Bandha if you suffer from any of this condition: heart disorder, high or low blood pressure, hernia, stroke, intestinal or stomach ulcer, in case you are recovering from a visceral ailment.
Maha Bandha must be avoided by pregnant women as well as during menstruation.