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 Anandadevi
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 third of the four days covers Moola bandha
. This practice accumulates energy in the pelvic floor (mooladhara chakra), then releases it to stimulate the sensory, motor and the autonomic nervous systems in the pelvic region. It acts on the perineal body which supports the entire musculature of the pelvis. It can help in treating physical disorders of the lower abdomen including digestive complaints, and sexual imbalances. In women, it can help with balancing the menstrual cycle, in pregnancy and in the menopause, and in men, in re-balancing sexual dysfunction. Moola bandha can also help with guilt, depression, and other mental health conditions, especially in the early stages. 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 YogaContra Indications
For moola bandha, only impatience! Moola bandha is subtle and takes time to 'master'.
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 and prior experience of Jalandhara bandha
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.