The throat Lock, or Jalandhara Bandha, is one of the three interior locks used in posture and pranayama practice to control and harness energy flow through our bodies.
Throat Lock can be practiced alone or in combination with any other reverse and/or horizontal locks in asana & pranayama practice like Mula Bandha, Uddiyana Bandha, Jalandhara Bandha, etc.
How to Do the Throat Lock (Jalandhara Bandha) with Correct Form?
To do this move:
- Start by sitting in a comfortable cross-legged position, with your hands on your knees and your palms facing up.
- Inhale so that your lungs are about two-thirds full, and then retain your breath.
- Pull your chin back closer to your chest. As it does this, lift your sternum toward your chin.
- At the same time, swallow as you let go of any tension from your shoulders.
- Hold as long as it is comfortable before bringing up your chin again and finishing the inhalation with another breath release.
The throat lock is excellent to do when breathing has become shallow, and we need to slow down. It's a way for those of us for whom yoga is difficult to still get some benefit from it, as it strengthens the roots of our subtle body and directs energy in a way that feels good.
Tips and Techniques for the Throat Lock (Jalandhara Bandha)
Follow these tips and techniques to get the throat lock right:
- Learn the Jalandhara bandha theory and practice from a trustworthy source or yoga instructor.
- It involves comprehending both the overt and covert facets of the technique. Begin by doing Ujjayi breathing (Victorious breath). It is a forerunner to Jalandhara bandha and will give you a fundamental understanding of throat contraction.
- Many individuals who attempt to lower their chin to their chest wind up causing neck pain.
- Keep in mind not to lower the chin completely.
- Raise the chest until it reaches the chin. Make sure your chin, chest, navel, and pelvic floor are all in a straight line when you do the Throat Lock. You won't be able to speak if you're doing it correctly.
- Never clench your muscles or hold the stance for too long.
- Additionally, don't hold your breath any longer than you can manage naturally. Breath retention is a talent you need to improve progressively; forcing your breath to do so is unproductive.
- Similar to strength, elasticity will increase with continued use. Never push a muscle over its breaking point. While doing bandhas, the body should remain relaxed, as should breathing.
- Start with four counts of retention if you're a beginner, and then add one count each week. Jalandhara Bandha should be performed thrice, with an additional round added every seven to ten days.
Benefits of Doing Throat Lock Yoga Pose
1) Stimulates the endocrine system
The throat lock is said to enhance parathyroid, thyroid, and pituitary gland function, according to some Hatha Yoga Pradipika commentators. The digestive fire generates warmth and transports prana to the starved crevices of the area, while the neck compression massages the glands in the front of the throat.
2) Stimulates your vocal cord
The lock reduces throat discomfort and enhances vocal cord performance. It also fortifies the lungs due to the breath retention component. The throat chakra is energized by prana on a more subtle level. The throat chakra is linked to expressiveness and communication. Thus, by performing the Jalandhara bandha regularly, one may find it simpler to express themselves.
The throat lock causes the upper esophageal sphincter in the neck compartment to constrict, closing the sphincter. It affects the parasympathetic nervous system, slowing the heart rate. This makes one feel more reserved. Jalandhara bandha also promotes mental and physical calmness, laying the groundwork for more profound meditational and self-awareness states.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
1) Incorrect chin position
In this position, the sternum is raised while the chin is lowered. Make sure you're dividing the two equally. Keep your chin from pressing into your sternum.
2) Holding your breath for too long
Make sure to breathe in while keeping your head up. Just maintain the position (and your breath) for as long as possible. Before returning to the posture, raise your head and take a breath.
Remember, one of the best ways to get better at yoga is to practice regularly and consistently. Commit to doing it every day, or even every other day if you have a busy schedule.
And as always, make sure that you're practicing in a safe environment, whether on your own or with a group. If you have any lingering questions about Bandhas or any other yoga poses and practices, please feel free to pose them in the comments below so we can address them!
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