Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the ancient text of Hatha Yoga, clearly tells with the help of Uddiyana bandha one can lift the Prana – life force.
Through this bandha, the great bird “prana” constantly flies up through the Sushumna Nadi; that is why it is called Uddiyana (upward flying) – (chapter 3 Verse 55)
Uddiyana Bandha, also known as Upward Flying Lock or Pre Nauli, is a crucial exercise for good health, well-being, and energy flow. This exercise will strengthen your abdominal muscles and benefit your digestive system by enhancing digestion, massaging your solar plexus and abdominal organs, releasing tension and toxins, and stimulating blood flow. An ideal exercise to support and stimulate your energy flow during hatha yoga.
By enhancing digestion, massaging the abdominal organs and solar plexus, relieving tension and toxins, and increasing blood flow, this exercise will strengthen the abdominal muscles and improve the digestive system. An excellent form of physical activity to encourage and enhance energy flow during Hatha yoga.
There are a few things to keep in mind while practicing the Uddiyana bandha. For best results, perform this exercise on an empty stomach to engage your abdominal muscles. At the same time, you must perform the Udiyana bandha immediately following an exhalation. Let’s continue our exercise now that we are aware of these two things.
At the same time, you should perform the Uddiyana bandha immediately after exhaling. Let’s continue our exercise now that we know about these two things.
We will learn how Uddiyana Bandha traps pranic energy in the abdomen while also directing it upward in this essay. This Bandha is extremely useful during Nauli abdominal cleanse.
Uddiyana Bandha: The Abdominal Lock
A belly raising or upward lifting lock is known as Uddiyana bandha. A practitioner of this bandha elevates their abdominal wall internally and upwards while holding their breath soon after expiration.
This entire operation leaves a vacuum in your chest that improves blood flow to all of your abdominal organs. For Nauli Kriya, it is the first bandha that is performed. Additionally, it is a crucial phase in the Vajroli mudra and Basti kriya.
We can clearly see Uddiyana bandha virtue with the help of the lines below:
It is the lion that conquers the elephant, death. Of all the bandhas, Uddiyana is the best. Once it is mastered, liberation occurs spontaneously.” – Hatha Yoga Pradipika (Chapter 3 Verse 57)
Activating the Uddiyana bandha is very refreshing. It will fill you with energy, especially in the abdomen part.
In Sanskrit, Uddiyana means ‘upwards flying’ and Bandha means ‘to lock’ or ‘to bind’. This is pronounced as oo-di-yana.
How to Do Uddiyana Bandha
You must concentrate and pay close attention to your abdomen when performing Uddiyana Bandha. Simply hold your breath soon after exhaling and raise your abdomen up toward your ribs and toward your spine.
You can try it on in either the standing position or the sitting position, respectively.
- Firstly, stand and keep your spine straight.
- Then, bend your knees slightly, and keep around a foot distance between them.
- Now, slightly lean forward and put your hands on your thighs, just above the knees.
- Take a couple of breaths and relax.
- Sit in a Yoga Asana such as Padmasana or Siddhas. Get comfortable with the asana.
- Place your hands on the lower thighs, just above the kneecap.
- Take a couple of deep breaths to let a proper flow of prana throughout the body.
Now you have to focus on your abdomen and perform the following steps.
Steps to Perform Uddiyana Bandha
- Exhale the breath completely, and hold it.
- Now, draw the navel part in and try to touch your spine, then lift it towards your ribcage or heart’s center, holding your breath.
- Hold it for a few seconds, according to your comfort then drop it gently.
- Do this all process simultaneously.
Note: If you are having trouble drawing or lifting your abdomen, try simulating an inhale by closing your lips and nostrils.
Uddiyana bandha is best performed while standing. If you’re a beginner, attempt to do it while standing because it will be simpler to concentrate on and control your abdominal muscles when you’re standing.
The optimum time of day to do it is in the morning so that you can prime your stomach for better digestion and other bodily functions.
If you are having trouble performing Uddiyana Bandha, then these might be the reasons.
Absence of Focus The abdomen portion of Uddiyana Bandha requires a lot of attention. We can become distracted and end up not executing things correctly even slightly. Avoid any distractions and concentrate on the abdomen portion.
Exhaling too little. You must continue to breathe fully. More exhalations will increase the lift you can achieve. Therefore, you must exhale deeply enough to reach your full potential of elevating the abdomen.
Breathing slowly. You may be unable to lift the abdomen section if you even slightly inhale during the mimic inhalation. So keep in mind to entirely hold your breath. Additionally, squeezing our stomachs tightly stops us from completing it.
Contraindication & Precautions
You must take the following safety measures in order to practice the Uddiyana Bandha safely and to achieve the greatest outcomes.
- You shouldn’t perform Uddiyana Bandha if you have high blood pressure issues. It can quickly raise your blood pressure if you practice it.
- It is not advised for ulcer and hernia sufferers to do Uddiyana bandha.
- A woman shouldn’t perform this Bandha while pregnant. Both the mother’s health and the health of the unborn child may suffer as a result.
- One should not perform Uddiyana Bandha during menstrual periods.
- If you conduct it right after eating, it may result in indigestion and stomach ache, thus you should do it on an empty stomach.
- Take it easy on your body. You can release yourself once you’ve reached your breaking point. Your health could be harmed by exceeding the limit.
Benefits of Uddiyana Bandha
- The abdominal muscles are mainly used in the Uddiyana bandha. It functions similarly to an abdominal exercise. It consequently strengthens the diaphragm and abdominal muscles.
The abdominal muscles, heart, and lungs are massaged throughout this activity, which improves how well these muscles work. It boosts the body’s natural digestive heat. It consequently enhances digestion and removes toxins from our bodies.
2. The brain becomes healthier as the Uddiyana Bandha practice improves blood circulation throughout the body and brain. Additionally, this exercise mostly contributes to having a younger body and brain. In other words, both your physical and emotional health are better. Practice, therefore, restores your youth.
Even an old person can become young when it is done regularly.”-Hatha Yoga Pradipika (Chapter 3 Verse 58)
3. The practice of Uddiyana Bandha reverses the Apana Vayu ( energy of the lower belly ) to upwards and unites it with the Parana Vayu (energy of the heart) and Samana Vayu (energy of the navel). This creates a unique flow of prana energy in our bodies.
Prana and Apana meet in the region of the Solar plexus/Celiac plexus[efn_note] What is Solar/Celiac plexus https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celiac_plexus [/efn_note]. It activates the Manipura Chakra, improving the function of all organs associated with it. It has been practiced by yogis to acquire liberation.
4. When performed in conjunction with the Moola bandha, Uddiyana Bandha helps in waking the Kundalini energy to stimulate the Anahata Chakra.
Gheranda Samhita says that Uddiyana Bandha enhances the awareness within us which helps in higher practices of Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi