Uddiyana Bandha – Abdominal Lock

“Uddiyana” means ‘flying up’, and ‘Bandha’, means ‘lock’ or ‘tie’ in Sanskrit. The asana involves activities resulting in ‘flying up’ of the diaphragm in the thorax and the simultaneous pulling back of the abdominal viscera above and below the navel towards the spine.

Sequence:

  1. Make a posture to stand straight on the carpet.
  2. The distance between both feet must be approx eighteen inches apart. Keep both feet in line with each other, and turned a little outward.
  3. Use your waist to bend your head and trunk forward a little and flex the legs in the knee-joints.
  4. Next step is to bend the arms and use hands and all the fingers to grasp the front of the thighs a little above the knees, including the thumb, pointing inward.
  5. Lift up your head gradually. Leave the abdominal muscles loose.
  6. Breathe out completely at a rapid pace, expelling out the air from the lungs fully applying a force at the same time vigorously so as to help the front muscles of the abdomen get contracted.
  7. Feel relaxed and now hold out your breath without allowing the air to enter the lungs while the following abdominal activities are happening.
  8. Pressing the palms gradually against the respective thighs, do vigorous ‘mock inhalation’ (false inhalation), without opening the glottis or allowing the air to rush into the lungs.
  9. This activity results in expansion of the thoracic cage and the ribs will be lifted and as they do so, gently relax the contracted front abdominal muscles. Along with the lifting of the ribs, the relaxed diaphragm moves upward by itself and, simultaneously, the front muscles of the abdomen, namely, the abdominal area around the navel (the abdomen including the navel), get sucked inward and upward towards the ribs, automatically and fill the ‘vacuum’ in the thoracic cavity.
  10. As a result the expanded abdominal wall, in turn, undergoes a deep depression, extending from just below the ribs up to the pelvis and, as the abdomen thus hollows itself, it will take on a concave appearance.
  11. The most important step is to maintain the ‘vacuum’ in the lungs, stay in this position comfortably for five to ten seconds or until you can go without air without air comfortably.
  12. Focus the attention on the solar plexus.
  13. If it is not possible to hold breathe comfortably, start deep breathing gradually. The deep hollow created in the abdomen will be effaced gradually, helping the abdomen and the chest to get back to original shape.
  14. Keep the trunk and head straight, bring the feet closer to each other, and gradually come back to the standing position.
  15. Breathe out slowly and take few deep breathes and then resume normal breathing. One round of Uddiyana is now complete.
  16. Get relaxed and the repeat the process thrice.
Caution:
  • Make up your mind before starting Uddiyana Bandha that the asana needs to be performed holding without breath. This is an important safety measure.
  • Sensitive tissues in the lungs could be damaged by practicing Uddiyana Bandha with air in the lungs.
Benefits:
  • Uddiyana is generally recommended for abdominal fitness. It helps in the resilience of the abdominal muscles and blood circulation in the abdominal cavity increases.
  • It works as a massage to the heart, stomach, liver, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, gall bladder, the transverse colon, and the upper part of the small intestine, in a natural way all in one movement.
  • The abdominal involvement in the respiratory system and the increased mobility of the diaphragm result in deeper and fuller respiration.
  • Uddiyana increases the elasticity of the lungs and thereby enhancing their capacity. The chest and the ribs are also involved and hence get exercised.
  • It tones up all the nerves situated in the region of the solar plexus.
  • The somatic nerve works more effectively and synchronizes the voluntary and involuntary nervous systems.

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