The Ashtanga Practice Artwork
Season 4 - Episode 5

Bandhas: Belly Flying Upward

10 min - Tutorial
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David shares techniques for accessing Uddiyana Bandha, the flying upward belly lock. With the support of the wall, we start supine to find the necessary leverage to help us explore the subtleties of Uddyana Bandha Kriya. We then come standing to find these dynamic actions deep in the belly.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket

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Nov 07, 2016
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We all do what's called Hatha Yoga. Okay, that's this physical yoga. Now, there's a whole list of techniques that fall into the category of Hatha Yoga. Okay, I'm gonna give you the three most important categories. Or techniques.

Okay, the first is obvious. We do it, Asana, postures, okay. So we all know that we do yoga in the west, we do postures. Okay, the second, what do you think it is? Breathing, okay?

So, postures and breathing together. Okay, the third, uddiyana bandha. The belly flying up gesture. That's how important it is. It's third.

I'm gonna give you my two easiest ways to do that technique, because it's not easy to do. Actually, until you get the skill of it. Okay, so what you, you breathe out all the way, and then don't breath in and then you cause your entire abdomen to go into a hollow. The whole thing is to fly up, that's what uddiyana means. And in order to do that, you need leverage, okay?

And so, this first one gives you leverage. Okay, so I have a blanket, and I fold it in half and then in half again. This is for my head. Then I set up at the wall. So lay down on the floor, on the mat, and plant the feet at the wall hip width apart.

And the shin is parallel to the ground. The thigh is perpendicular to the ground. And so it's like a stance you're trying to create. And the hands are going to push your legs. So, look at this you guys.

The feet, they stamp the wall and the hands stamp the legs. Right at the moment that you catch the bandha. That's where the leverage comes, is by pushing the feet into the wall and pushing your hands on to your legs. Then you can rock. You can make your belly fly out.

Here I'm gonna do it for you. And then we'll try it. Here we go, so I breathe in. I empty with a flush. And then whack.

Okay, slightly release that lock just before breathing in. So join me, let's try it. Get your set up position. Plant your feet, plant your hands. And here we go.

So remember that decisive moment when the lungs are finished emptying and you're gonna catch that bandha. There's a catching, inhale. And exhale with a flush. And then whack. The belly fly's up.

One more time, breathe in. Exhale. So the whole body performs that bandha. Remember to release the lock slightly before breathing in. Okay, so that's version number one.

So there's two great advantages from that laying down at the wall position for uddiyana bandha kriya. One is the fact of stamping your feet into the wall and stamping your hands on to your legs. And the other is that your spine is supported. And so the belly goes down like you're using gravity. So the moment you stand up you gotta go up against gravity and it gets a little tougher.

Okay, but that's what we're gonna do now. So, let's stand up and it's like a skier's stance. So the stance is very important. You gotta have power because remember, leverage is what enables you to create that bandha. So, forward and some if you're achilles are tight, you would even lift the heels slightly.

So you wanna be way forward here. And the arms straight. So if you end up bending the elbows, no leverage. Okay, so you're using the power of your skeleton. So watch me one time and then we'll do it a few times together.

Here I go. Did you notice my hands and feet? They're like waaaa! So awake. Okay, so this bandha is done with the whole body. Let's do it together.

Okay, so separate your feet and do this little rock and feel the power. Get a powerful stance. It's kind of like being on the black diamond slope. You're not on the bunny hill. You've got to be ready for action.

Okay, so I'm gonna show you from another angle. Just watch one time and then we'll do it together. Okay, here we go. Get your stance. The stance is amazing you know you don't even have to do the bandha, it's this amazing pranayama stance all on its own.

So be sure you're exploring your breath in between times. Work to fill up the lungs then empty. And fill. Okay, we'll give it a go here. Exhale.

Stay very calm because there's so much action. Okay, so remember, after asana, pranayama, postures and breathing comes the belly flying up move.


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