Shades of Yoga RYT 200 hour course focuses on teaching the basic principles of Hatha Yoga in order to develop a solid foundation and understanding of how to safely progress through asana’s. Understanding the bandhas is the primary step to perfecting basic postures such as Tadasana, while creating body awareness and mental focus during practice.
In Sanskrit the word bandha means to lock or tighten. In yoga there are 5 bandhas which, when engaged, lock in prana (energy). The energy locked in the bandhas is flowed throughout the body to create balance and helps to control various systems in the body such as digestive, sexual, hormonal etc.
HASTA BANDHA: (hand) When hands are on the mat, spread the fingers and press them into the mat to enhance the natural arch in the palm. The arch allows the body’s weight to be evenly distributed amongst the hand avoiding strain and preventing wrist injury.
PADA BANDHA – (foot) When the feet are on the mat, spread the toes and press the entire foot on the mat to distribute the weight evenly amongst the 3 arches of the foot. The three arches are located from the big toe to the little toe, the big toe to the ankle and the ankle to the little toe, creating a triangle.
MULA BANDHA – (perineum) Engage the perineum by tucking the tailbone and slightly lifting the pelvis forward. It gives a sense of stability and balance during poses while increases body awareness. Mula bandha helps ‘lock’ energy in the torso and regulates and stimulates the internal organs.
JALANDHARA BANDHA– (throat) Tuck the chin into the body, creating a double chin to feel the breath flow through the sinus cavity (ujayi breathe) as well as lock energy into the upper torso. This creates awareness of the breath and calms the mind.
UDDIYANA BANDHA – (core) Engage the core at all times during practice. This helps create body awareness, reduce the risk of back injury and increase overall strength. This bandha also acts as a panacea to digestive problems.
Yoga should be practiced with full body awareness and an understanding of how one posture leads to another, however without the basic knowledge of bandhas and their importance, one loses form and can never truly progress in practice. Knowing how to engage the bandhas and the benefits of each is the first step of learning asana.
Shades of Yoga is a yoga teacher training company running year-round yoga teacher training courses in Bali and Costa Rica. Details here.