uddiyana = upward (cf. ud = “up, upwards”)
bandha = binding, tying a bond, fetter; putting together, uniting, contracting, combining; mundane bondage, attachment to this world (as opposed to emancipation, mukti or moksha).
There are a few important points to remember when beginning the practice of Uddiyana Bandha: perform it only on an empty stomach, and only after an exhalation, never before an inhalation. During the time you hold the bandha, also perform Jalandhara Bandha. Most teachers recommend that you learn this bandha in a standing position, and only move to sitting after you’ve gained some experience. Similarly, wait until you’ve been sitting for a while before using this bandha during pranayama. T.K.V. Desikachar suggests that Uddiyana can also be learned in a supine reclining position (see the Variation section below).
Step by Step
|Contraindications and Cautions|
|Perform Uddiyana Bandha at the beginning of your asana practice to stimulate the energy resident in the belly.|
|Instead of simply resting your hands on your knees in the standing position (as described above in Step 1a), firmly press the bases of your palms against the very tops of the thighs (right hand on the right thigh, left hand on the left). This downward pressure on the femur bones will create a slight natural hollowing of your lower belly.|
|The hollow belly of Uddiyana Bandha can be approximated in a reclining position. Technically this position is called Tadagi Mudra, the Tank Seal (tadagi = tank), because the hollow belly is reminiscent of a water tank. Lie on your back and stretch your arms overhead, laying the backs of the hands on the floor. Extend through your heels in the opposite direction. The opposing stretch of the arms and legs sucks the belly into the torso, shaping it like a water tank or pool. Don't, however, hold the breath; breathe normally, allowing the upper belly to expand fully on the inhalation, while keeping the lower belly hollow. Gheranda says that this seal "destroys decay and death."|