The four bandhas are core energetic practices that are used to awaken, channel and focus energy, enhancing our daily well-being and opening gateways to more subtle realms.
The day is designed for both sincere yoga practitioners and also yoga teachers (who can use the training towards their CPD, continued professional development).
Tutor(s): Swami Krishnaprem, assisted by Swami SatyaDaya
The bandhas are key practices of hatha yoga - which also includes asana (postures), pranayama (breathing practices) and mudras (subtle gestures). They also play a significant role in more subtle energetic forms of yoga such as Kriya Yoga. The Sanskrit word ‘bandha’ means to ‘lock’, or to ‘hold’. Their practice adds a new dimension to pranayama, redirecting the flow of prana/ life force and heightening energy in specific areas. They naturally induce inner stillness and are therefore excellent preparations for meditation. Their influence extends through the physical, energetic, and mental bodies.
The 4 bandhas are Jalandhara (neck lock/ release), Moola (pelvic floor lock/ release), Uddiyana (abdominal lock/ release) and Maha (the great lock/ release).
The course runs over four separate days, covering each of the four bandhas in turn. Each day will comprise the following aspects:
- systematic guidance on the practice of the specific bandha
- a yoga class to prepare for the bandha practice
- pranayama practices such as Kapalabhati (cleansing breath), Bhastrika (energising breath) and others, that can be used in association with the bandha
- a guided yoga nidra
- subtle ways of enhancing the bandha practice to more subtle levels
- a final satsang (questions and answers)
This first of the four days will cover Jalandhara bandha
. This practice accumulates energy in the neck, then releases it up into the head space, bringing mental relaxation, spaciousness, and calmness. It is the first bandha practice that is usually taught and is from a sitting position. Day two
will cover Uddiyana bandha, the stomach lock/ release. This will be practised in both a standing and sitting position.Day three
will cover Moola bandha, the pelvic floor lock/ release, from both a lying and sitting plane.Day four
will cover Maha bandha, the great lock/ release, which integrates all three of the above bandhas in one practice.
Each of the days is set at £50, and if you book 3 of the 4, you will automatically be invited to the 4th day free of charge.
These four days will give you comprehensive training in the different bandhas, enhancing your yoga practice and daily well-being, and also opening you to more subtle inner experiences. Tantra approaches the issue of higher experience by being a friend of the mind and not an enemy. Therefore, no matter what a yogi’s personal philosophy may be, the three bandhas are considered as important as eating and sleeping and are as well-known as the ABC.
From the commentary on Hatha Yoga Pradipika (3:76), by Swami Muktibodhananda, Bihar School of Yoga
For Jalandhara bandha, they are cervical spondylosis, whiplash, vertigo and glaucoma.
All the bandhas involve breath retention, either internal or external. As such unmedicated high blood pressure and vulnerabilities of the heart are common contraindications for all four. Pre-requisites
A reasonable foundation in pranayama practice, such as full yogic breath and nadi shodhana (alternative nostril breathing).
The course will be delivered via zoom and the sessions for the day will be at the following times:
7.30-9am, 10.15-11.30, 12-1pm, 2.45-3.30 and 4-5pm, all U.K. times.
All the sessions will be recorded and made available to all participants in both video and audio formats. They are offered as a helpful resource following the day, and also for those who need to miss any of the sessions during the day.
Bookings will close at 5pm the previous day.