BANDA - abdominal lift
This exercise has so many benefits and yet is often
ignored by yoga students. In this asana/bandha the diaphragm is drawn inwards and upwards along with all
the abdominal muscles. The effect is to tone and strengthen those muscles, to massage the abdominal internal
organs and the lower lungs and even the heart as a result of the increased pressure in the thorax.
Uddiyana Bandha is done with the lungs empty to avoid too much internal pressure, but there are times when this is reversed.
Uddiyana bandha is also usually done in conjunction with Mula bandha (Pelvic lock) and Jalandhara bandha (chin lock).
Uddiyana bandha (or also known as Nabhi bandha) is performed during Ujjayi breathing when the just the lower abdomen is held
in. In this exercise the upper abdomen remains free to expand and contract with the flow of breath.
Mula bandha and Ardha uddiyana bandha are then controlling the lower half of the abdomen, controlling prana movement
there but also physically supporting the lower back and groin from strain.
Uddiyana stand, sit or kneel in Vajrasana (shown). Take a deep breath and exhale strongly and forcefully
to empty the lungs quickly. When the lungs are empty make sure the pelvic floor is contracted and adopt
Jalandhara bandha pulling in the chin to squeeze the Adams apple in the throat. Simultaneously pull in the whole of the abdomen as strongly as possible as
though you are trying to draw the navel back to touch the spine.
Hold for only a few seconds
without strain. Release the tensions and breath in easily and deeply.
developments of this exercise allow the rectus muscles in the front of the abdomen to be alternately relaxed and contracted,
and for the opposite side muscles to be alternately contracted and relaxed (Nauli) creating a rolling effect which adds to
the massage effect of this bandha.