Stomach Lock

Definition - What does Stomach Lock mean?

Stomach lock is a yoga technique whereby the flow of energy (prana) in the body is restricted and redirected. Also known as upward abdominal lock and in Sanskrit as uddiyana bandha, the stomach lock is practiced by drawing the abdomen in toward the spine and holding it after exhaling. It is believed to activate the navel energy center.

Locks are a yoga technique that involve constricting, sealing or isolating a part of the body. The stomach lock is considered one of the most powerful locks.

Yogapedia explains Stomach Lock

The stomach lock is believed to activate the manipura (solar plexus) chakra, which is associated with the power of transformation, self-confidence and motivation. It is also believed to have these physical benefits:

  • Strengthens the diaphragm and the muscles of the abdomen
  • Improves digestion and elimination
  • Increases circulation
  • Massages the abdominal organs
  • Reduces stress and tension
  • Improves liver and pancreatic function

The stomach lock is one of the three principle locks in yoga and should only be attempted after mastering the other two:

  • Chin lock (jalandhara bandha), in which the chin drops to the base of his throat.
  • Root lock (mula bandha), in which the deep perineum muscles are contracted.

The stomach lock is usually practiced before meditation, but after asanas and pranayama; although, it may be employed during pranayama and with mudras.

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