‘Bandha’ refers to constricting or sealing a particular part of the body in order to gain some benefits associated with it. There is a total of four Bandhas and Jalandhara is one of them. It is the first lock that you learn before commencing to other two. Jalandhara Bandha is widely known as chin lock (or throat lock). Behind our throat pit resides the centre of purification, known as ‘Vishuddhi Chakra’. The practice of Jalandhara Bandha is known to activate this chakra. Communication skills of a person are linked to Vishuddhi Chakra. There are many other supreme qualities of the human body that are governed by this chakra.
The word ‘Bandha’ means to ‘lock’, ‘hold’ or ‘tighten’. Moving to Jalandhara, ‘Jala’ stands for ‘Net’ while ‘Dhara’ stands for ‘current’ or ‘flow’ similar to that of a river. In the human body, it refers to the flow of blood vessels and nerves of the neck. Since the flow is locked it leads to the drop in heart rate which in return allows the breath retention to last longer.
Jalandhara Bandha Technique
In whatever meditative posture you sit, remember to keep your spine and head straight. Keep your knees close to the ground as much as you can. Put both of your palms on your knees. Or join the tip of your thumb and index finger.
- Relax the whole body gently closing your eyes.
- Take a deep inhalation and exhale out all the air completely. Now, take a slow and deep breath and hold your breath inside.
- Pull the head slightly backward. Lower your head and lower your chin into the suprasternal notch (the dip between the collar bones). The chin must be tightly (but gently) pushed into the notch.
- Next, straighten your elbows to keep the arms straight. Press your palms into the knees pushing them further down towards the floor.
- Along with pushing the knees down, arch your shoulders in upward and forward direction.
- This will keep the arms rigidly straight thus increasing the pressure on the neck.
- Initially retain Jalandhara Bandha for a few seconds while concentrating on Vishuddhi Chakra.
- Bring the shoulders back into their normal position. Relax the arms and gently release the lock.
- Straighten the head and release the breath slowly. Relax for a few seconds and repeat the same procedure again.Practice 3-5 times.
- While practicing Jalandhara bandha you hold the breath inside. After becoming sufficiently well, you can also practice it while holding the breath outside.
- You can hold the pose for as long as you feel comfortable. Though it is advised to practice for only a few seconds initially and increase the time gradually.
- If you experience suffocation, stop the practice right away. Take slow breaths for a while and try again.
- Perform Jalandhara bandha after practicing yoga poses and before meditation. Do not inhale or exhale until you straighten the head and arms.
- It is important to first master Jalandhara Bandha to be eligible to learn Maha Bandha (the great lock) later on.
- If you suffer from any of this condition, avoid practicing Jalandhara Bandha: high blood pressure, heart problems, vertigo, cervical spondylosis or increased intracranial pressure.
- If you experience dizziness, consider avoiding it.
- Consult with your doctor before practicing if you have a thyroid disorder.
Jalandhara Bandha Benefits
- Increases concentration power.
- Influence the functioning of the thyroid and parathyroid glands, therefore, balancing metabolism.
- Prevents and manages the disorders of the thyroid gland.
- Gives one the ability to hold the breath for the longer duration of time.
- The chin lock leads to the compression of carotid sinuses (arteries of the neck). These sinuses are responsible for the functioning of the respiratory and circulatory system. Pressure on sinuses during Jalandhara Bandha leads to mental relief. It reduces anxiety, anger and stress of the practitioner.
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