bandha (बन्ध)

(knot, lock, tying;
bonds; achievement, yield;)

"Energy lock", carried out by compressing certain muscle groups.

Mula-bandha, Uddiyana-bandha and Jalandhara-bandha are often used in the practice of hatha-yoga.

Bandhas are designed to redistribute prana streams in the body and help to retain subtle energies. Also, they channel inside the energy that is flowing outward, which contributes to the awakening of the hidden forces. Bandhas are used in kundalini yoga to awaken Kundalini-shakti. In order to work with energy with the use of bandhas and attain specific results described in the sacred texts, one must gain a certain level of prana - its quantity and quality. This level of prana corresponds to a certain level of consciousness, when practicing yogi is able to "slow down" the instincts, also correctly applying the principle of bandhas in his or her practice. When bandhas are correctly performed, a suspension (nirodha) of prana takes place, the flow of which was spent on supporting various types of instincts and reflexes. Thus, the general level of energy increases, and then, if this practice is carried out regularly and in a pure even state of consciousness, the transformation of the accumulated energy also occurs. This increases the probability of activating sushumna.

Bandhas regulate and balance the currents of energy in the body. Giving the fact citta and prana are interdependent, stopping the fluctuations of prana results into appeasement of consciousness. Practice of bandhas leads to the balance of consciousness, calms the work of indriyas and allows us to concentrate our perception on the contemplation of the Atman.

For proper practice of bandhas one needs to keep the body clean, using asanas to remove the main blocks in the body and clean the energy channels so that it becomes possible to comfortably remain in one asana; with the help of pranayama, japa, bhakti the quantity and quality of prana increases. In order for the bandhas to be effective, it is necessary to gain a certain energy reserve in the body, which must be sublimed. Bandhas unlikely bring results if the sadhaka has weak, exhausted body, so one must lead a way of life the way that prana is not depleted. The quality of bandhas is accompanied by the ability to concentrate consciousness, without which everything often comes down to manipulating the muscles. Though yoga sets higher goals.