The Bhandas – Locks
Some muscle locks combined in a specific way are called “Bhandas” or internal locks.
They are frequently used. Each lock stimulates blood circulation, pressure in the nerves and the flow of the cerebrospinal fluid.
These locks also serve, above all, to channel the vital energy (Prana) towards the main nadis (meridians) in connection with the awakening of Kundalini. There are three main locks:
- Jalandhara Bhand
- Uddiyana Bhand
- Mul Bhand
When these 3 contractions are applied simultaneously, it is called Maha Bhand, or the Great Lock.
Mulabhanda, or root lock, is the most complex of locks. It is very often used.
It coordinates and combines the energies residing in the first 3 Chakras (rectum, sexual organs, belly button).
It is necessary to simultaneously contract the sphincter muscles of the anus (as if to contain an evacuation), to contract inwards the sexual organs, the urethra must be strongly contracted. The lower abdomen is also contracted back towards the spine.
These three contractions have the effect of uniting and mixing the two main energy flows in the body: Prana and Apana. Prana is the positive, generative energy found in the upper half of the body. Apana is the energy found in the lower half of the body, the energy of elimination. This closure attracts downward energy (Apana) upward and upward energy (Prana) downward. The combination of these two energies in the umbilical center produces a psychic heat which is at the origin of the awakening of Kundalini. This lock is usually applied during the exhale unless specified.
This is the closing of the diaphragm. The diaphragm must be elevated by pulling upwards, towards the inside of the thorax. This creates a cavity and the heart is stimulated.
This lock allows the pranic energy to go up into the area of the neck. This lock is related to the hypotalamus-pituitary axis in the brain.
This practice can give the body renewed youth and stimulates the faculty of compassion (Heart Chakra). The spine should be kept straight. It is normally applied on the exhale. This lock is often used in Laya Yoga techniques to obtain the subtle effects associated with certain songs.
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The lock of the neck
It is most frequently used in Kundalini Yoga. This is the contraction of the neck. It is necessary to contract backwards the neck and the throat.
The chin is nestled in the cavity between the bones of the clavicle and the top of the sternum. The head stays straight without leaning forward.
This allows the flow of pranic energy up the spine to irrigate the centers corresponding to the upper glands of the brain both pituitary and pineal.
In Kundalini Yoga Kriyas, a large amount of energy is generated which produces a psychic heat that opens the pranic nadis that are cluttered with impurities. With this closure the thyroid and parathyroid glands are stimulated, which causes optimum secretion, and serves to activate the superior functions of the pituitary gland. As a rule, Jalandhara Bhand is always applied during meditation.
This is the application of the three locks at the same time. It is said that it has the power to regenerate the nervous system and the glandular system.
It is also said that any sexual fantasy can be eliminated by the practice of Maha Bhand. By channeling this creative energy into the nadis, it will nourish the energetic body.
It regulates blood pressure, menstrual pain and develops blood circulation in the lower glands (testicles, ovaries, prostate, etc.).