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Free Yoga Download - Doug Keller: The Role of the Bandhas in Yoga Asanas
Class Length:20 minutes
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In this free yoga download, Doug Keller, author of Yoga as Therapy and Refining the Breath, discusses the importance of the Bandhas in general and Jalandhara Bandha specifically.
The Bandhas are key yogic practices, yet remain elusive to many practitioners. The term Bandha is typically translated as ‘lock,’ and the Bandhas are traditionally associated with breath retention during a Pranayama practice. However, the Bandhas are very important for the practice of yoga asana as well, Doug maintains. The actions of the Bandhas provide stability to the spine and to the torso, so that the diaphragm works more efficiently, the breath is fuller, and the posture is more stable.
A lot of attention is given to Mula Bandha and Uddiyana Bandha, however, Jalandhara Bandha is just as important, Doug notes. While Jalandhara Bandha is an action involving the neck, it helps to tone and support the upper body as a whole, aligning the spine and neck to promote ease and proper alignment. This in turn has numerous ancillary benefits to the body; it helps the immune system, the hormonal system, as well as the heart and the breath.
While the Bandhas typically are considered advanced practices, Doug argues that the muscular actions of the Bandhas have important practical applications even for people in the beginning stages of yoga practice. The muscular actions of the Bandhas facilitate alignment and create the core support necessary to carry oneself in a healthy way during a yoga asana practice. Most people spend long hours sitting, so it’s important for them to learn how to restore basic tone to the body. In other words, Doug argues, the Bandhas should be the place where we start a yoga practice, rather than something we put down the road for just the advanced yogi.
Also, check out Doug's course:
Online Yoga Teacher Training
If you're a yoga teacher, this downloads qualifies towards Yoga Alliance Continuing Education credits. For more info, see here.