- Try initially to empty the lungs as much as possible by accentuated contraction of the abdominal muscles and the chest.
- Make sure you apply jalandhara bandha before doing the final position of uddiyana. It is jalandhara that prevents air entering the lungs during the false inhalation.
- It is the false inhalation that gives the final contraction of the abdomen. The abdominal muscles should remain passive. Many people contract the abdominal muscles in the final position – this is wrong.
- Don’t allow air to enter the lungs when you make the false inhalation.
- When you release the final pose, firstly relax the chest then release jalandhara bandha and finally breathe in. This order is important to prevent injury to the lungs.
Breathing, awareness and duration
Take a deep exhalation before taking the final position. Hold the breath outside while taking the final position, while remaining in the final position and while returning to the starting position. Inhale on completion of the practice.
Beginners should be aware of doing the practice correctly and achieving perfect coordination between the various steps involved in taking the final position. When you have mastered the practice, be aware of the breathing process and mental counting in the final position. This applies especially if uddiyana is integrated with pranayama5.
You can practise as many rounds as you wish, but you must not strain. Beginners should do only a few rounds initially and then slowly increase the number when their system becomes accustomed to the practice.
The final position of each round should be held for as long as you can comfortably hold your breath.
The best time to do uddiyana bandha in your practice program is after asanas and pranayama, and before meditational practice. Uddiyana can also be combined with pranayama and mudras.