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Jalandhar Bandh: Throat Lock

“Contracting the throat by bringing the chin to the chest in the bandh called Jalandhara”….. Hatha Yoga Pradipika

Sitting Position8002287d-3d39-449a-a581-6b5aa05cbd00 (1)

To begin with, assume any comfortable sitting position. Eventually one should intent-fully try to assume classical meditative yoga posture, such as, Siddhasana or Padmasana.

Jalandhar Bandha can also be performed while standing in semi- squat position as we do in case of Nuali. However, sitting position is the best.

Method

1. Sit in a comfortable position

2. Place your palms on your knees. Your arms should be relaxed and your elbows slightly bent

3. Inhale (applying yogic breathing) upto the brim where you allow your breath to float / retain / suspend after inhalation is complete

4. Lengthen the back of the neck starting from the upper back and then lower it forward to bring your chin to the chest (your breath is in retention mode); try to place and press your chin to the chest

5. Press your palms firmly on the knees to get your arms straight. This process will push your shoulders up, while at the same time, get your upper back in a slightly forward mode (this process will intensify the pressure on the throat region)

6. Stay in this position with breath retention (till at ease)

7. Before releasing, bend your elbows outwards to release the position, raise your chin parallel to the floor and exhale gradually

8. Normalize your breathing or do deep breathing before you start with the next Jalandhar bandh

Check point

If your exhalation is jerky or fast, you have crossed your limits with regard to breath retention and therefore, you should consciously retain your breath for a shorter span of time, in your next practice.

Number of Rounds

One should start with 5 rounds and then gradually graduate into more numbers. One should also strive to lengthen each respiration with practice.

Sequence of Performance

When practiced independently, it should be performed after asanas and before pranayama to calm the mind. With advancement, it is practiced in conjunction with pranayama and mudras.

Breath Retention

Breath Retention can be antar kumbhak (breath retention after inhalation) or bahir kumbhak (breath retention after exhalation) or both. A consummate process would be to start with antar kumbhak, then practice bahir kumbhak and then finally combine the two gradually with regular practice.

Ideally the ratio of inhalation: retention: exhalation should be in the ratio of 1:4:2. However, one should reach the final goal, step by step, by mastering each step slowly and not jumping to the final ratio too early.

* Breath retention or suspension or the pause between the inhalation and exhalation has to have a floating and relaxing effect. It should not cause strain and should be performed with ease, to enjoy the immense benefits of the retention.

Benefits

Jalandhar bandh influences the practitioners at all levels – physical, psychic and mental.

Physical level

Jalandhar Bandh practice is located in the throat region. Any disorder related with throat area shows gradual improvement with regular regimented practice of this bandh.

Thyroid & Parathyroid Gland

This practice squeezes directly on the Thyroid gland and simultaneously influences the parathyroid gland as it is situated on either side of the thyroid gland. The lock in the throat region modifies the nerve stimuli and the blood flow to and from the gland (as this is intermediate between the brain, the digestive and assimilation processes) and thereby modulates the secretory responses of the gland.

Tonsillitis

This is a useful practice in taking control of the severity of tonsillitis

Voice Management

This practice gives a great massage to the vocal chords and the associated areas, it helps in improving voice quality and is one of the most recommended practices for vocal artists.

On Psychic & Mental Level

Activates Higher Center of the Brain

‘Many major nerve fibers pass through the neck. When Jalandhara bandh is performed it exerts pressure on them and the flow of nervous impulses to the brain is restricted. These impulses collect in the cervical plexus and when the bandh is released they flood into the brain. The force of these impulses helps to activate higher centers in the brain….. Hatha Yoga Pradipika’

Induces Calmness

This practice controls the flow of prana, thereby induces mental relaxation. It applies a slight pressure on the carotid sinus and ,thereby, slows down one’s heart beat and helps turn one’s attention within oneself.

Awakens Vishuddhi Chakra

Jalandhar Band plays an important role in awakening Vishuddhi Chakra

Precautions

Blood Pressure and Heart Problem

As Jalandhar Bandh involves breath retention, people with high blood pressure or any kind of heart problem should not perform this bandh (this should be performed under the guidance of a yoga expert in collaboration with doctor).

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