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 Discussions on AYP Pranayama, Mudras and Bandhas
 All Mudras/Bandhas During All Energy Practices?
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37 Posts

Posted - Feb 03 2024 :  7:43:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Much of this post arises from some confusion regarding the Mudra/Bandha chart in lesson 385

From what I understand, the primary mudras/bandhas utilized in the AYP system are:

Sambhavi Mudra
Kechari Mudra
jalandhara bandha

My understanding is that, over the course of many years, we aim to engage all 6 of these mudras/bandhas simultaneously during spinal breathing pranayama. However, I am unclear on weather or not to engage some or all of these mudras/bandhas during the other AYP energy practices of chin pump, spinal bastrika, yoni mudra and targeted/crown bastrika.

1. During the energy practices of spinal bastrika, yoni mudra, chin pump, and targeted/crown bastrika, is our ultimate goal to eventually be performing all 6 of these mudras/bandhas simultaneously during these individual energy practices? If not, which mudras/bandhas should be performed and which should be left out during spinal bastrika, yoni mudra and chin pump?

2. The chart in AYP lesson 385 doesn't seem to mention jalandhara bandha which is mentioned in the asanas, mudras and bandhas book of the enlightenment series. Is this an intentional omission? Or am I correct in that we should ideally be aiming to perform jalandhara bandha during SBP (and other energy cultivation practices)?

3. Apart from maha mudra called out in the asanas book of the enlightenment series, which engages siddhasana and kumbhaka during a forward fold, should any other mudras or bandhas be used during asana practices?

4. In the case of meditation, core samyama and cosmic samyama, it is my understanding that you should never intentionally perform mudras/bandhas while performing these 3 techniques. Mudras/bandhas may arise as a product of automatic yoga, but one should not set out to do them. One should just focus on the meditation/samyama at hand. Is this understanding correct?

Edited by - elderberry on Feb 03 2024 7:48:56 PM


2242 Posts

Posted - Feb 03 2024 :  10:18:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello Elderberry

1. During yoni mudra, chin pump, and bastrika, I would not be holding any mudras or bandas intentionally, and just give attention to preforming those practices rather than splitting your attention. SBP is the place to employ some or most of them, so they can assist in opening the shushumna for DM.

2. I use jalandhara throughout most of my asana practice as a reminder to extend my exhales, and can be used in SBP. Jalandhara should not interfere with siddhasana or mulabandha, and can be employed entering nauli or YKM (of which it is a component).

3. During asana practices, the only ones that make sense to employ is sambhavi, jalandhara, and mulabandha, along with nauli if you are choosing to hold your breath at the end of an exhale. I usually reserve ketchari for DM, as it is difficult to intentionally breathe and use ketchari without drying out my nasal passages.

4. Ketchari is the only mudra or banda I intentionally use during DM and samyama, although I personally would not use it lying down (cosmic samyama) as, again, it seems to dry out my nasal passages, and distracts from the practice.

These are all my preferences learned from trial and error over the years. I would say if a mudra or bandha distracts from performing a practice (dividing attention) it's best to leave it out. They may be employed in twos or threes, but it is probably a fool's errand to employ all at once.
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37 Posts

Posted - Jun 08 2024 :  9:28:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hey Dogboy,

Interesting. In lesson 385, Yogani labels kechari as an "automatic" practice for DM and samyama. My interpretation of this is that one is not supposed to intentionally enter kechari during DM or samyama. But if your body enters it automatically, that is fine.

If I understand you correctly, you seem to enter kechari intentionally during DM and samyama.

Is this just a personal preference that you have found works particularly well for your body?
Or am I somewhat misunderstanding the meaning of automatic vs. intentional mudras and bandhas?

Edited by - elderberry on Jun 09 2024 12:38:56 AM
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2242 Posts

Posted - Jun 09 2024 :  7:33:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
For my practice, I employ ketchari "automatically" as I enter DM, so in that sense it is both automatic and intentional. If I were to wait for ketchari to happen on its own, it may never happen! Ketchari is different from most other mudras in that it takes no effort to hold it in place (as opposed to holding mulabandha or uddiyana for instance) thus your attention is not divided from following the mantra in DM.
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4430 Posts

Posted - Jun 10 2024 :  12:09:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Elderberry,

1. The individual lessons on these practices do say which mudras and bandhas to be using. For example in lesson 91:

"Let's begin by sitting as we do in pranayama. This means sitting in our chosen version of siddhasana.... Now, to go into the yoni mudra phase we will begin by placing the tips of our two index fingers close to the outer corners of our closed eyes against the lower lids. Then we gently push the eyes up and to the center in the direction of the point between the eyebrows.... at the same time, we lift our tongue to the roof of our mouth, sealing off the mouth inside so no air can escape through there.... In yoni mudra kumbhaka we continue with mulabandha.... There are two other components we'd like to add to yoni mudra. First is something called "jalandhara bandha," which means, "chin lock."... The other component we will add is uddiyana.... ".

So, there is siddhasana, mulabandha, a variation on shambhavi mudra, jalandhara bandha, uddiyana bandha and kechari mudra (if it is comfortable to apply it). These are applied either intentionally, or automatically, if they are being used. The mudras and bandhas should only be used if they are comfortable, so at the end of the day it is the practitioners choice.

2. Jalandhara bandha is not used during Spinal Breathing unless it is happening automatically. It is used during Yoni Mudra and Dynamic Jalandhara Bandha, but not during Spinal Bhastrika.

3. Using mudras and bandhas during asana practice is up to the practitioner. They are not used intentionally during Deep Meditation and Samyama practice because we do not want to be dividing the attention during those very subtle practices. But asana practice is not like that, so we can use mudras and bandhas if we wish to. Personally I use shambhavi mudra throughout asana practice and also mulabandha and a light uddiyana bandha. Jalandhara bandha is applied automatically during several asanas such as plough (halasana), shoulder stand (sarvangasana), bridge (setu bandha sarvangasana), cat (marjaryasana) and so on.

4. Yes. See here.
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