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Maha Bandha - The great lock In Yoga, How to do Maha Bandha - The great lock In Yoga, Benefits of Maha Bandha - The great lock In Yoga, Precautions, & a note for yoga practitioners

Maha Bandha (The Great Lock)

How to do Maha Bandha (The great lock) | Awareness | Duration | Sequence | Precautions | Benefits | Practice note

Maha Bandha (the great lock) is the last bandha, a combination of all the three bandhas: Jalandhara Bandha, Moola Bandha and Uddiyana Bandha.

How to do Maha Bandha (The great lock)

  • Sit in siddha/siddha yoni asana or padmasana with the hands on the knees. 
  • The spine should be erect and the head straight. Close the eyes and relax the whole body. Inhale slowly and deeply through the nose.
  • Exhale forcefully and completely.
  • Retain the breath outside.
  • Successively perform jalandhara, uddiyana and moola bandhas in this order.
  • Hold the bandhas and the breath for as long as is comfortable without straining.
  • Then release moola, uddiyana and jalandhara bandhas in this order.
  • Inhale slowly when the head is upright.
  • This is one round.
  • Keep the eyes closed, relax the body and let the breath return to normal before commencing the next round.

Awareness

  • Physical – on the perineal, abdominal and throat regions. Be aware of each region for a few seconds. 
  • Spiritual – on mooladhara, manipura and vishuddhi chakras. Be aware of each chakra for a few seconds.

Duration

  • Once proficiency is attained, increase by one round until 9 rounds can be performed.

Sequence

  • Maha bandha is ideally performed in conjunction with pranayamas and mudras. If practised on its own, it should be done after asanas and pranayamas and before meditation .

Precaution while doing Maha Bandha – The great lock

  • Do not attempt maha bandha until the other three bandhas have been mastered.
  • People suffering from high or low blood pressure, heart conditions, stroke, hernia, stomach or intestinal ulcer, and those recovering from any visceral ailment should avoid this practice. Pregnantwomen should also not attempt this practice.

Maha Bandha Benefits

  • Maha bandha gives enhanced benefits of all three bandhas. It affects the hormonal secretions of the pineal gland and regulates the entire endocrine system. 
  • The degenerative and ageing processes are checked and every cell of the body is rejuvenated. It introverts the mind prior to meditation. When perfected, it can fully awaken prana in the main chakras. It leads to the merger of prana, apana and samana in manipura chakra, which is the culmination of all pranayamas.

Practice note

  • Maha bandha can also be performed from utthanpadasana.
  • The Sanskrit word maha means ‘great’. Maha bandha is called the great lock as it combines all the three bandhas in one practice.

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