Advanced Tantric Yoga Exercise
Kundalini Yoga Maha Bandha
Along with the use of postures (asana), breath control (pranayama), mantras (sound and thought vibrations) and mudras, another fundamental part of kundalini tantra yoga is the use of bandhas, or body locks. In the past, I have discussed the most important lock, the Root Lock, and how it’s clever use can greatly enhance any yoga practice. You will find that discussion in the article 5 Simple Yoga Tips to Elevate You Practice. Today though I am going to take the use of Body Lock exercises to the next level, and discuss the use of the advanced tantric technique, Triple Lock or Maha Bandha, for advancing your yoga expertise.
Maha Bandha, which literarily means the Great Lock, is the combination of Root Lock (Moola Bandha), Diaphragm Lock (Uddiyana Bandha) as well as Neck Lock (Jalandhara Bandha).
In the video below I demonstrate Maha Bandha, specifically for enhancing the benefits of the wonderful White Tantra Yoga exercise Sat Kriya. Sat Kriya is essentially a powerful technique for transmuting sexual energy to higher rates of vibration, so it can be used by the higher centers for personal and spiritual evolution. You will find all the details for Sat Kriya in the following article, Tantric Yoga Technique to Raise Sex Energy – Sat Kriya. But Maha Bandha can be used in conjunction with other exercises as well, and is also a viable practice on it’s own for encouraging the movement of Kundalini up the central spinal channel (Shushumna).
Let me first give you the video demonstrating Maha Bandha and then below I will discuss numerous details regarding this tantric exercise.
Tantric Yoga Exercise – Video Demonstration of Maha Bandha
YouTube Link –> Tantric Yoga Technique for Channeling Sex Energy
How Maha Bandha Works:
In the video above, I show Maha Bandha being applied after doing Sat Kriya, and in this rare case it is being done with breath held in, but in general one should do Maha Bhanda with breath held out. This is primarily due to Diaphragm Lock which can be uncomfortable to do with breath held in. If you find this to be the case for yourself, you can do Maha Bandha with breath held out after Sat Kriya as well.
To understand Maha Bandha completely one has to delve quite deep into Tantric theory and practice. I will though go over the mechanism by which these locks work here briefly. Essentially, each lock targets a particular knot or granthi in the energetic channels. These knots are responsible for preventing the movement of Kundalini up the spine and to the higher centers. The application of the Bandha is to break these psychic knots and free Kundalini to rise.
Root lock breaks the Brahma Granthi in the lower spine and is associated with the Root and Sex Chakras. Diaphragm Lock breaks the Vishnu Granthi, along the middle spine and is associated with the Navel and Heart Chakras. The final knot is Rudra Granthi, associated with the Throat and Third Eye Chakras and is pierced by the use of Neck Lock. Piercing this final knot, can be seen as the ultimate aim of Kundalini Yoga. So Maha Bandha is a technique by which one directly works to dissolve these knots and promote the rise of Kundalini.
For more information on the Chakras, you can study the following article: Kundalini Yoga Seven Chakra System Overview.
Below are the benefits of this tantric technique and how to practice it. In the practice section, I only go over Maha Bandha, please refer to the article on Sat Kriya linked to above, for details on how to practice Maha Bhandha in conjunction with Sat Kriya.
Benefits of Maha Bandha:
- Awakens Kundalini Shakti, and sequentially allows this energy to travel up the spine, activating each chakra and opening up the higher centers.
- Balances the entire endocrine system.
- Promotes deep relaxation and stress relief.
- Improves the respiratory, digestive and nervous systems.
- Promotes a meditative state of mind.
- Promotes spiritual evolution.
Maha Bandha Practice – Advanced Tantric Technique:
I will explain how to practice Maha bandha using the more common method with breath held out. Also, in the instructions below, I suggest using Sukh Asana (simple cross legged), but in the video I am demonstrating it in Rock Pose, as that is how it is done after Sat Kriya.
- Sit with your legs crossed and close your eyes.
- Elongate your spine upwards. Sit up nice and tall.
- Take a deep breath and then exhale completely.
- Now with the breath held out. Apply the following locks in sequence.
- Root Lock (Mula Bandha): To apply root lock you should contract the rectum, sex organ and naval (lower abdominal region) by pulling these 3 muscle groups up and in.
- Diaphragm Lock (Uddiyana Bandha): To apply diaphragm lock you should pull the abdominal muscles up and in under the rib cage. Suck your stomach all the way in.
- Neck Lock (Jalandhara Bandha): To apply neck lock draw your chin back firmly and slightly down (like a soldier at attention) creating tension in the back of the neck and causing a compression of the throat region.
- Hold these locks with your breath held out, for as long as comfortable. Then release them as you inhale and relax.
- Repeat again for a total of 3 rounds initially. As you become more proficient, you can increase the number of rounds to 10 or more.
Maha Bandha – Tantra Yoga Technique Hints & Tips
The first rule of practicing Maha Bandha, is not to over do it. Please start off gently and slowly and build up your capacity systematically over time. Don’t squeeze too hard and don’t hold for too long. Please refer to the following articles for more guidance: 10 Important Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice.
- Sat Kriya is chapter 10 of the Free Online Kundalini Yoga Sets E-book, where you will find many other interesting and helpful yoga sets and techniques. Including the following advanced set, which uses the Bandhas in a powerful way to awaken Kundalini: Raja Yoga Set for Kundalini Awakening.