Practicing energetic locks in various poses is essential to enjoying the optimal benefits of practicing yoga, including maintaining one's youth and vigor.
- Mula bandha: The first form of energetic lock, it stimulates and coordinates energy flow to the rectum. In this bandha, muscles of the perineum are contracted inward and lifted upward. The bandha stimulates the pelvic region and tones urogenital organs, relieving constipation. It also stimulates kundalini power.
- Uddiyana bandha: The second form of energetic lock, it involves pulling abdominal muscles inward against the spine and the chest is lifted as well. This bandha massages and supports intestinal health and energizes the heart chakra. It also integrates energy and emotions and promotes positive traits such as compassion and kindness.
- Jalandhara bandha: The third form of energetic lock, it is performed by extending the neck and bringing the chin to the chest. This bandha stimulates the functioning of the thyroid and parathyroid glands. It also regulates and supports cardiovascular and respiratory health. Regular practice of jalandhara bandha aids in alleviating stress.
- Maha bandha: The supreme lock, it is the bandha in which all three previous energetic locks are practiced together. It is also called the triple lock. In maha bandha, one should start with jalandhara bandha and immediately follow it up with uddiyana bandha and mula bandha. While releasing the locks, you should start with mula bandha, then release uddiyana bandha and finally jalandhara bandha.