Could I ever use Uddiyana Bandha now, plus a review of the Krishna Das doc

I mentioned briefly that our new house has a subfloor, including in the room that is/will be the practice room. For practice purposes, that means that any minor thud down on the floor results in a huge, deep bang.

A major Uddiyana Bandha check, in other words. You know, the Flying Bandha. Apparently my UB ain’t quite as light and flying as I thought. I could use some help.

Uddiyana Bandha, in my opinion, may be the lost bandha. By that I mean it tends to get lost in the mad rush to understand Mula Bandha and ignored in favor of the easier-to-access Jalandhara Bandha. I know I’ve heard Tim Miller explain it umpteen times, and I try to keep his ideas . I also am trying to keep our Rolfer’sRuss Pfeiffer — words in mind about keeping this part of the body lightly, but actively, engaged.

If you think about this bandha, it is easy enough to picture why it’s the one to help you fly. The middle of your body — your core, right? — is heading in and up. When jumping back from Down Dog — and this is when my loudest bangs happen — it all should be moving opposite gravity, enabling something like a light landing.

For me, there’s clearly something amiss in Down Dog in particular. My jump back during the seated poses don’t produce the same Jurassic Park-like thuds. I’m not sure if this is strange, but my guess is the issue is an upside down one. In Down Dog, Uddiyana Bandha ought to be easy to activate — that would go with gravity. But it’s also unusual, since I don’t spend most of my day head under heels. I’m probably slacking off.

There have been some hard landings this week, as a result. So I’ve gone searching. And here’s what I’ve turned up:


You achieve Uddiyana Bandha, by gently drawing the stomach inwards. At the end of an exhalation, when the need to inhale begins, imagine a golden thread that is attached two fingers width under the navel, that is pulling in and up. From and anatomical viewpoint, the transverse abdominal muscles will be lightly activated. …

Uddiyana Bandha draws Prana (energy) out of it’s foundation, the Muladhara Chakra, up through the spinal column. Uddiyana Bandha connects you with the element air, the energy of the Anahata Chakra in the middle of the ribcage. Uddiyana Bandha gives lightness, helping you to overcome the force of gravity.

A David Garrigues video:

I was hoping to find something at either Richard Freeman or David Swenson’s websites, but no such luck.

On a separate subject, we’ve been following the release of the Krishna Das documentary, One Track Heart. Most of the coverage and reviews have been from sympathetic perspectives (yoga blogs, etc), so this new review might give you an added take on things. In other words, it isn’t all sunshine and light:

One Track Heart is pretty much a sermon to the choir, and one wishes Frindel—also co-founder, with his wife, of the Brooklyn Yoga School—had offered even a rudimentary overview of Hinduism and its basic tenets for the unenlightened laymen in the audience. The film is unabashedly worshipful of KD, as are all the interviewees…

Still, if you think about it, the review comes out pretty positive. A lot of films of this vein are unwatchable due to their fawning nature and vaseline-framed view of things. That doesn’t seem to be the case here (too much). So check it out.

Posted by Steve