Chin Lock

Definition - What does Chin Lock mean?

Chin lock is a yoga technique that controls the flow of prana (life-force energy) in the body. A lock in general, or bandha as it is known in Sanskrit, is muscular contraction that holds energy or the breath within a particular area of the body. The chin lock is also known by its Sanskrit name, jalandhara bandha.

To practice the chin lock, the yogi drops the chin to the base of the throat to prevent prana from escaping the body through energy channels known as nadis and to redirect it to the manipura chakra.

Yogapedia explains Chin Lock

The chin lock is believed to activate the visuddha (throat) chakra, which is associated with authentic expression. This lock also regulates metabolism and is thought to tone the thyroid and parathyroid glands. It is typically used after asana practice and pranayama, but before meditation.

The chin lock is one of three main locks employed in yoga. The other two are:

  • Stomach lock (uddiyana bandha), in which the abdomen is pulled in toward the spine during an exhalation. This lock activates the navel center energy.
  • Root lock (mula bandha), in which deep muscles within the perineum are contracted. This lock controls the prana at the base of the central energy channel that runs within the spine from the root chakra to the crown chakra and is known as the sushumna nadi.

Practice of all three locks at the same time – an advanced technique – is called bandha triya.

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