One among three main bandhas in Hatha yoga, Jalandhar bandha when performed, stimulates the upper body organs. While the other two bandhas, Uddiyana & Mula bandha, used for the lower body.
Jalandhara Bandha: Chin or Throat Lock
Jalandhara Bandha is a yoga practice that controls and captures the flow of energy to the throat. In this practice, a person needs to mainly bring the chin down to the chest. This powerfully stretches the spinal cord and also effects the brain. This bandha has a great impact on our physical body as well as a subtle body.
Usually, throat lock is practised alone but when done in conjunction with other two locks, it’s called Maha bandha. If you haven’t practice Jalandhara bandha before, you might have practised it in several yoga postures like bridge pose & shoulder stand.
What Jalandhara Actually Means?
The Sanskrit term Jalandhara has 2 root words, Jala means ‘web’ or ‘net’, Dhara means ‘holding’ whereas Bandha means ‘lock’ or ‘bond’.
On combining the root words meaning, Jalandhara is something which on holding creates a web or net. It’s named Jalandhara Bandha because on holding throat near the chin, a web-like structure is made which restricts our breath to go down.
Some yogis believe that is was invented by sage Jalandharipada, therefore its name is Jalandhara Bandha.
Purpose of Jalandhara Bandha
The main purpose of this bandha is to lock the energy flowing out through the throat for a moment. The energy within us flows out in the atmosphere naturally.
This Bandha locks the energy flowing out from the way of the throat for a while and stimulates it for better functioning of the whole throat region. This fixes all the sickness in the throat and also targets the Throat Chakra (Vishuddha Chakra).
How to Do Jalandhara Bandha
You can simply perform Jalandhara bandha while sitting in Sukhasana, Padmasana. The main pre-requisite of it is, you just have to hold your breath and bend your head to touch the upper part of the chest with your chin.
- While sitting in any cross-legged posture, stretch your knees outwards and place your hands over your knees.
- Now take a slow and deep breath, raise your chest up and hold the breath inside. This is Antara Kumbhaka (holding breath inside).
- Meanwhile, tilt your head forward and touch your chin with the jugular notch [efn_note] Jugular notch https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suprasternal_notch [/efn_note] (notch between our collar bones) gently.
- Bring your awareness to your throat, and hold it there.
At the point, you touch your chin to Jugular notch, you create a lock. If you are unable to bring your chin exactly at the jugular notch, try to bring it as close as possible to Jugular notch.
- Hold this position as long as you can.
- When you can’t hold it further, then lift your chin gently and exhale slowly.
- Now, relax for a while & then repeat this whole process again.
Every time you repeat, you will be activating the energy centre at the level of the throat.
Ones you have mastered it in Antara Kumbhaka (holding breath inside), you can go for holding the breath out after a complete exhalation (Bahya Kumbhika). The rest of the procedure will be the same. You just have to hold your breath after exhaling instead of inhalation.
Point to Note Down
- Remember to keep your spine straight and verticle. Do not lean it forward or backward otherwise the flow of energies through the central channel of the spine will get disturbed.
- In the beginning, repeat this process 3-5 times in a single session. After some practice, you can increase it gradually and take it to 10-12 rounds.
- The best time to practice Jalandhara Bandha is the morning time, away from all the distractions. You can also add this to your daily yoga practice and perform it after Pranayama.
Contradictions and Precaution
To get the best results and to perform Jalandhara Bandha correctly, you need to take the following precautions.
- Keep your spine straight throughout the whole process of Jalandhara Bandha.
- Do not go beyond your limits. Perform it according to your stamina.
- Patients of high blood pressure, or heart problems, should not practice Chin Lock at all.
- If you are having a fracture or any other problem in your neck or throat, you are not advised to perform this Bandha.
- When you feel dizziness or vertigo, stop this practice immediately and take some deep breath. When you get relaxed, you can continue again.
Some Common Mistakes
Still not able to perform Jalandhara Bandha properly? Here are some common mistakes that don’t let us practice this bandha properly.
1. Position of the Chin
There may be some mistake with the position of chin. The chin should be left or right. Remember to bring it to the center so that your chin, nose and the breastbone comes in the same line.
2. Breathing Position
The most common mistake we do is in the breathing position. Remember, when you are inhaling, you have to keep your head up and spine straight. You have to do the same while you exhale. Do not exhale before lifting your chin up. At first, bring your chin up, keep the head straight, then exhale slowly.
3. Not Lifting the Chest
Many people do not lift their chest and as a result, they feel uncomfortable to perform this Bandha. Make sure to lift your chest, and then touch your chin to Jugular notch.
Painless Tooth Extraction by Jalandhara Bandha Yoga
In earlier days, there was no Anesthesia, to use before surgery, so the people carry out surgeries by using some yogic procedure and by manipulating some vital points in the body. In Ayurveda, there are many examples of surgeries done by Sushruta [efn_note] who was Sushruta https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sushruta [/efn_note], without Anesthesia (an ancient Indian physician). One of such example is Painless Tooth Extraction by Jalandhara Bandha Yoga.
This Dental Surgery takes place in the following steps [efn_note] Painless Tooth Extraction by Jalandhara Bandha Yoga https://www.jaims.in/index.php/jaims/article/view/91/62 [/efn_note].
- Firstly, the patient sits on a wooden plank.
- After that, the Ayurvedic Dental Surgeon stands behind the patient and makes him do Jalandhara Bandha.
- Then, the Dental Surgeon puts pressure over the SushumnaNadi (Spinal Cord) with his left knee and puts pressure over the trigeminal nerve with his left hand.
- Lastly, Dental Surgeon moves the patient’s head up and down 2-3 times gently and then extracts teeth with his instrument (Lion Forceps).
It is said that the Jalandhara Bandha blocks the path of pain during this surgery, thus the painless surgery is completed.
Now, let’s know, why people go for this surgery and what are its benefits.
- Many patients have an allergy to local Anesthesia and medicines. This surgery treats them without any Anesthesia or another drug.
- High blood sugar patients usually have side effects after even a little surgery. As this surgery is an Ayurvedic surgery, it extracts teeth without any side effects.
- This surgery heals the gums faster and does no harm to healthy tissues.
- This surgery does not have any post complications like swelling, wound, etc.
- It is a powerful Dental Surgery that can extract the molar tooth and milk tooth, even the stamps also.
Benefits of Jalandhara Bandha
- This practice massages the Throat region. This helps in better blood flow to our Vocal cord. Thus, this bandha helps in a clear and sweet voice, especially for singers.
- This bandha improves the metabolism function of the thyroid gland that prevents all the disorders of the thyroid gland (Hypo and Hyper Thyroid).
- Many believe that Jalandhar bandha helps to correct a double chin that aids in your looks. Still, it is not scientifically proven.
- This practice gently stretches the spinal cord. This helps in the blood circulation to the spinal cord. Thus, the health of the spinal cord improves gradually.
Along with this, the stretch on the spinal cord has a good impact on our brain muscles. Thereby, it results in increased concentration power and mental relaxation, with reduced anxiety anger and stress.
- The Throat Chakra (Visuddi Chakra) is located in the throat region. This chakra is known for the purification and communication of the body. Jalandhara Bandha locks the Pranic energy to this region and helps to stimulate the Visuddi Chakra. Thus, this practice helps in purification and communication of the body.
- This Bandha deals with the parasympathetic nervous system [efn_note] parasympathetic nervous system https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parasympathetic_nervous_system [/efn_note]. This nervous system is responsible for the stimulation of unconscious body activities like digestion, tears, urination, etc. Jalandhar bandha helps to stimulate these unconscious body actions properly.