Tiffany Wood Yoga

Jalandhara Bandha

(jah-lahn-DHA-rah bahn-dah) 

jala = net (for catching birds or fish) 
dhara = bearing, supporting 
bandha = bond

This “throat lock” creates an expansion of the chest, a softening, and an opening of the throat along with an upward release and slight extension at the back of the neck. In Anusara® terms, it is the balance between shoulder and skull loop.

Technique:

1. Gently lift your chin, press your upper palate toward the back of your head, and then firm your shoulder blades against your back torso to lift your sternum. Be careful not to push your front ribs forward.

2. Keeping the curve in your neck, lengthen the back of your neck by expanding from your hard palate into the back of your head and then up and over towards your eyebrows. Never force your chin to your sternum.

3. Full Jalandhara requires the chin to rest comfortably on the sternum (neck flexion). Many beginners make the mistake of only lowering the chin. First, lift your chin to create curve in your spine, then pull your throat a palate backward, then lengthen the back of your neck to lower your chin.

4. If you're a beginner, don't hold this bandha continuously throughout your practice. Begin your inhalation with your head upright. Apply Jalandhara as you near the end of the inhale, hold during the retention and the exhale, and then raise your head to a neutral position for the next inhale.