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Nine (9) Bandhas March 9, 2024

Nine (9) Bandhas

Not Just Three (3) Bandhas
Three bandhas are popular and widely used in Yoga - Mula bandha, Uddiyana bandha and Jalandhara bandha. However, there are lesser and obscure bandhas. Altogether, there are 9 in total.

What is a Bandha?
Bandha is an energy-manipulating lock. After perfecting Pranayama and Kumbhaka, Bandha is the next level. This is instrumental in Siddhi activation. At the physical level, bandha is the contraction of opposing muscles on a joint.

Benefits

  1. Activates / Regulates the pranic flow by moving prana vayu
  2. Clears the Granthis - removes the Granthis (energy knots); Brahma, Visnu and Rudra from their respective chakras
  3. Prevents leaching of prana from the nadis
  4. Redirects the flow of prana - it can push Apana vayu up and push Prana vayu down
  5. Awakens Kundalini shakti especially when combined with other bandhas. e.g. Mula bandha and Uddiyana bandha generate heat to awaken the Kundalini shakti

What / Where are the 9 Bandhas?

*** If the bandha is associated with a joint, I engage the bandha by weight-training that joint. e.g. on Mani bandha, I might hold a dumb bell with arms straight and parallel to the floor. I would apply wrists movement to raise the dumb bell up and down. Or, I could do knuckle-pushups to harden the wrists.
  1. Kulpha bandha - ankle joint complex
  2. Janu bandha - knee joint complex
  3. Kati bandha - hip joint complex
  4. Mula bandha - the 3 most powerful nadis (Ida, Pingala and Sushumna energy pathways), together with the dormant Kundalini Shakti, reside in the Muladhara Chakra. Engaging Mula Bandha activates the Muladhara chakra. This pushes up Apana vayu to unite with Prana vayu. This also generates heat to awaken the Kundalini shakti. Mula bandha is instrumental in un-knotting the Brahma granthi (psychic knot) in the Muladhara and Svadisthana chakras, caused by attachment to worldly possessions.
  5. Uddiyana bandha - Uddiyana, when it is done regularly, even an old person can become young again. Uddiyana can slow down the natural process of degeneration and aging and make even an old person look young. Uddiyana bandha is instrumental in un-knotting the Vishnu granthi (psychic knot) in the Manipura and Anahata chakras, caused by fear - e.g. fear of leaving your comfort zone for something that excites more, fear of leaving a dead relationship simply because you'd been together too long, etc..
  6. Jalandhara bandha - Jalandhara regulates the flow of Amrita, the Nectar of Immortality. It prevents Amrita to flow back to be burned at the Jatara Agni (digestive fire) and instead, to be distributed in the body as Bindu (energy uqually as powerful as Prana).

    Additionally, Jalandhara stops the looping of prana from Ida to Pingala, and instead, redirects Prana to flow along the Sushumna nadi where Siddhis are activated.

    Jalandhara bandha is instrumental in un-knotting the Rudra granthi (psychic knot) in the Vishudhi and Ajna chakras, caused by attachment to the power of Siddhis and psychic powers.
  7. Amsa bandha - shoulder joint complex
  8. Kurpara bandha - elbow joint complex
  9. Mani bandha - wrist joint complex
Nine (9) Bandhas

Ending Thoughts
Engaging the bandhas are powerful especially when they are closely associated with the chakras. Extending the breath-holds in various ratios while holding the locks could be exhausting. In my practice, I push the bandhas to the max on the last rep prior to meditation. This stills the mind, tires the body and empties the emotions - a perfect setup for meditaiton.

--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
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