When to Apply the Locks

Relaxing while holding a posture (after the exercise is completed), creates a dynamic space for movement of energy. In general, the locks are applied while holding the posture after completing a yoga exercise. This direction is not always specified. It assumed that the student will gently apply the appropriate locks to anchor in the internal effects of the asana.

ROOTLOCK OR MULBHAND

Rootlock or mulbhand closes the lower three chakras so that the energy cannot be lost or leaked out through the base of the spine. As a consequence the energy stays in the body and can flow up the spine. As with all the locks, rootlock is done either while holding the breath in or holding the breath out.

The complete rootlock is done by slightly contracting the muscles of the rectum or anal sphincter, and the sex organ and pulling the navel center in toward the spine. To identify and work with the muscles of each of the chakras, practice working with them separately. When the mulbhand is applied while retaining the breath, the two major energy flows, prana and apana are united. This generates psychic heat which triggers the release of Kundalini energy.

DIAPHRAGM LOCK OR UDDIYANA BHANDA

Diaphragm lock works with the solar plexus and the heart chakra. It is actually easier to apply this lock while holding the breath out. The diaphragm muscles are pulled in and up. Start by sucking in the solar plexus, pull the muscles toward the spine and then pull them up. The chest will expand and the spine will straighten.

Diaphragm lock massages the heart muscle and causes the thymus to secrete. It is also used during chanting. Rhythmically applied, it enhances the effect of chanting.

NECK LOCK OR JALANDHARA BHANDA

The neck lock involves a very subtle movement. Move the chin down slightly and pull the head up. The chest will open up. You will move from a slumped posture and caved in chest to a straighter posture and open heart center. The shoulders should relax, drop and release downwards. The tongue and throat should relax.

Straightening the cervical vertebrae allows the free flow of prana to the brain and opens the connection between the head and the heart.

TONGUE AND EYE LOCK

Yogic texts stop with the neck lock. However, to complete the stimulation of the 6th and 7th chakras, what we will call the tongue and eye locks are also applied. The tip of the tongue presses gently to the roof of the mouth. The eyes look up as though looking out the top of the head. You may feel the pulse at the crown chakra (the soft spot on a baby's head.)

MAHABHANDA

Mahabhanda is the application of all the locks at once. When all the locks are applied, the nerves and glands are rejuvenated.

Health And Fitness 101

Health And Fitness 101

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