Uddiyana Bandha: Yoga for peace and inner harmony

By Atul Vyas 

The third chakra or the solar plexus chakra represents our sum, our power center. Here, we absorb solar energy which nurtures our ethereal body, thereby vitalizing and maintaining our physical body. In the third chakra, we enter into active contact with people and the material world.

This is the part of the body from which our emotional energy radiates. Our relationships with others, our likes and our dislikes and the ability to enter into long term relationships are mostly controlled by this center or chakra.

This chakra represents the foundation of one’s personality. Here, we find our social identity and seek to confirm it. Either by personal assertion, the will to achieve a striving for power, or adaptation to social patterns. One feels enlightened, full of joy and inner richness when the third chakra is opened. If it is blocked one feels gloomy and somewhat unbalanced.

A harmoniously functioning and open third chakra creates a feeling of inner harmony with oneself. There are many yogic interventions to balance and open this chakra, one of them is Uddiyana Bandha or upward abdominal lock.

Uddiyana Bandha contracts the third chakra area of the belly and draws prana up into the heart.It massages many digestive organs  and improves digestion.

Technique

  • Stand straight and bend knees slightly and gently round the back, placing the hands on the front of your thighs, above the knees
  • Inhale deeply expanding the ribs, and then exhale fully, contracting your abdominal muscles to push out as much air as possible from both chest and belly
  • Now, hold the contraction for as long as one feels comfortable. May start by holding for 1-2 seconds
  • After two seconds of holding breath, inhale deeply and return to standing
  • Repeat 2-3 times

Benefits

  • Creates peace and harmony by opening and balancing of the third chakra
  • Improves digestion
  • Cures constipation
  • Tones abdominal muscles

Note of Caution

Those having high blood pressure, stomach or intestinal ulcers, glaucoma, and pregnant women should avoid this asana.

Atul Vyas likes to be called a “Yoga Scientist”. He is a celebrity yoga trainer and has trained several top Hollywood and Bollywood stars. He has trained for years under many eminent yoga gurus including his illustrious mother Daya Vyas, the first lady yoga guru of India.

Images courtesy of One Yoga and provided

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