Yoga Basics: Jalandhara Bandha

Here we have it, the third of the internal body locks used to direct the flow of prana (life force energy) through the body. Jalandhara bandha, which translates to “net-bearer bond,” engages the throat and neck area.

Unlike the other bandhas (which were discussed here and here), jalandhara is not as commonly utilized during the physical practice of yoga. In fact, there are specific postures that engage this bandha (like pindasana, or embryo pose, pictured above).

However, the postures that engage this lock do not have to be quite so twisty as pindasana. In fact, they can be quite familiar, such as setu bandha sarvangasana (bridge pose) and salamba sarvangasana (shoulder stand). It can even be used to supplement your pranayama (breath work) practice!

Jalandhara bandha simply involves tucking the chin toward the chest. Doing so lengthens the back of the neck-an area that can hold a lot of tension-which, much like the other bandhas, eliminates the curvature of the spine for better energy flow. Here’s how to achieve that.

How To Engage Jalandhara Bandha:

  • Come to a comfortable cross-legged position. Gently tuck your tailbone forward, eliminating the curvature in your lower spine. From here, find length in your sternum to lift your heart center upward. Roll your shoulders back and down your spine, extending the crown of your head upward, as if you were pressing it against someone’s palm.
  • Exhale completely, and then inhale. Retain you breath here and gently tuck your chin toward your sternum, as if you were trying to create a double chin. Similarly, lift your sternum toward your chin here, even if it is simply energetically.
  • Hold for a few seconds, then release the lock, exhaling slowing and intentionally. You did it! Repeat several times, being mindful of what is most comfortable for you.

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