Bandha

बन्ध

Literally “lock” or “closed.” (1)

A bandha is a particular type of yogic technique, similar to a yoga posture, for raising the kundalini energy in the spine (2)

Paramhansa Yogananda emphasized the stomach lock, known as “uddiyana bandha” in Sanskrit. It is part of his Energization Exercises routine, which is recommended before meditation.

Here are a two examples of bandhas that Swami Kriyananda teaches in his book The Art and Science of Raja Yoga:

Jalandhara Bandha
The Chin Lock

Press the chin firmly into the chest, as close to the throat as possible. Inhale slowly, and hold the breath throughout the time that you hold the position. Feel that you are drawing the energy up the spine into the cervical center, or vishuddha chakra, and from there to the brain. (Jala means the brain. Dhara signifies the upward pull of energy to the brain.)

Jivha Bandha
The Tongue Lock

Turn the tip of the tongue back toward the uvula; pressing it hard against the soft palate, move it forward across the roof of the mouth until it rests firmly against the base of the front teeth. Press the entire tongue up into the roof of the mouth in such a way as to fill the entire roof with the tongue. (3)

References

  1. ”Swami Kriyananda on Ananda Yoga,” a discussion with Ananda leaders that was written down and published in June 2011. By Swami Kriyananda.
  2. The Art and Science of Raja Yoga, Swami Kriyananda. Step Thirteen: II. Yoga Postures.
  3. The Art and Science of Raja Yoga, Swami Kriyananda. Chapter 20, “The Outer and Inner Universe.”