Uddiyana Bandha and Agnisar are quite similar so we will be talking about them in the same article, the benefits and contraindications of each apply to both.
A quick note about Bandha’s before starting this practice.
The Sanskrit word Bandha means hold, tighten or lock. We use these in yoga to bring power to the body and change the direction of energy within our bodies.
There are four Bandhas:
Jalandhara (chin) – Bringing the chin into the chest
Moola (root) – Lifting of particular muscles in the pelvic floor (perineum in men and opening of the cervix in women)
Uddiyana (flying) – tensing and contraction of the lower abdominals (below the navel) similar to the feeling when you cough
Maha (Combination of all three).
For more details on Bandha Click here
Uddiyana Bandha Kriya- Flying Lock
Uddiyana – Upward Flying, Bandha – Lock / Seal
The locks or bandhas we used in yoga are contractions that we use to direct or conserve energy within the body. The Kriya Uddiyana Bandha is different from the Uddiyana Bandha we use within the Ashtanga Vinyasa Practice, it is much stronger and requires you to hold the breath, rather than the muscular lifting contraction performed during asana. This is one of the only methods in Yoga for stretching the diaphragms and keeping it healthy along with the other benefits from Agnisar. You will need to learn this position before being able to attempt Nauli or Agnisar, as they both start from here.
Agnisar Kriya- Stimulating the Digestive Fire
Agni – Fire, Sar-Essence, Kriya – Action
The main purpose of Agnisar kriya is to boost the metabolism and ensure proper functioning of all of the abdominal organs. How does it work? By creating a ‘vacuum’ effect and strongly pulling (and releasing) the abdomen, you massage the internal organs and increase blood flow to the area. Over time you should experience improvements in your digestion and metabolism, along with appetite regulation (increasing if it’s too low OR decreasing if it’s too high). Just a 5 minute daily practice can bring a big change in the body.
Perform the Uddiyan Bandha Kriya as mentioned above. Once the stomach is pulled in by expanding the chest bring back the chest to the normal position and in the process also pushing the stomach out. All this is done while holding the breath. Repeat this process for as long is comfortable (10-20 times in and out) and then inhale release the jalandhar bandha, relax the shoulder and the stomach. Take a few deep inhalations and exhalations and then repeat the process two more times.
Contraindications For Agnisar and Uddiyana Bandha Kriya:
There are a few conditions which can be aggravated by doing the Uddiyana Bandha/Agnisar Kriya as it is quite a strong heating practice, please be aware of these before starting.
Once you have mastered this try Nauli Kriya for a more effective cleansing.