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 Discussions on AYP Pranayama, Mudras and Bandhas
 Uddiyana/Nauli During Spinal Breathing Pranayama?
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elderberry

USA
37 Posts

Posted - Jun 08 2024 :  9:52:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Lesson 385.1 features a chart which suggests which mudras/bandhas to perform during particular AYP practices.

Spinal breathing pranayama is certainly the star of the show as far as integrating mudras/bandhas.

I have been using mulabandha, sambhavi and siddhasana during my SBP for quite some time now. They are are starting to feel fairly easy/automatic. I am slowly integrating kechari as I continue to stretch my tongue, and I can imagine how that would be a fairly easy/passive mudra to integrate as well given enough practice.

What I am struggling to understand however is, how the heck is one expected to passively perform uddiyana bandha/nauli during SBP?

My experience with uddiyana is limited to my asana practices in which I devote all my attention to performing uddiyana. Uddiyana as it is taught is a relatively intense process. One must exhale all their air and suck their stomach muscles inwards. Personally, I can't even maintain uddiyana for more than 10 seconds. Nauli, obviously, is a whole level beyond even that.

How is one expected to maintain uddiyana throughout a SBP session? The only thing I could think is that uddiyana within the context of SBP is a bit of a "different" type of uddiyana, in which one just super subtly, barely lifts and contracts their stomach muscles. I could imagine maintaining this throughout a SBP session. However I cannot find anything in the lessons which support this notion. Are there any lessons which explain how to integrate uddiyana as a bandha during SBP specifically?

Is anyone able to explain this a bit better? Any tips would be appreciated!

elderberry

USA
37 Posts

Posted - Jun 09 2024 :  12:27:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I may have found a clue in lesson 91 on the yoni mudra. Yogani discussing the use of uddiyana during the yoni mudra:

"When we are retaining the breath during yoni mudra, we gently lift our diaphragm a little and pull our belly in...Because we are full of air in yoni mudra kumbhaka, we will not be pulling up with the diaphragm very much. Just a little."

These seems to suggest that, yes, uddiyana used as a bandha on conjunction with other practices is simply a much "subtler" form of uddiyana than the way uddiyana is used during asana practice.

However, this still leaves me with some questions regarding the nuts and bolts of how uddiyana is used during SBP.

Is the idea that we hold a subtle uddiyana during the entire 10 minutes of SBP? Or do we only hold uddiyana during the top of an inhale? Or perhaps at the bottom of an exhale?
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Dogboy

USA
2242 Posts

Posted - Jun 09 2024 :  7:22:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
As uddiyana involves the root, diaphragm, and less air in the lungs, it should be used at the bottom of the exhale and released on the inhale.
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Christi

United Kingdom
4429 Posts

Posted - Jun 10 2024 :  12:42:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Elderberry,

A light uddiyana bandha can be applied during Spinal Breathing Pranayama if you wish. It can be a very slight movement of the lower abdominal muscles inwards and upwards. This movement can be so slight that it would not be seen by someone watching, even if you had your shirt off. In fact it can be so subtle that it is a mere intention, rather than an actual contraction of the muscles. At this level, it is not normally difficult to hold for the duration of Spinal Breathing. If it is uncomfortable, then you can leave it out. Over time, this will often begin to happen automatically during pranayama, as the inner energies awaken.
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elderberry

USA
37 Posts

Posted - Jun 10 2024 :  11:24:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Christi and dogboy!

Christi just to confirm you are referring to keeping uddiyana (lightly) engaged throughout the entirety of spinal breathing? That is to say you hold it the whole time, no just at the top of an inhale or the bottom of an exhale?
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Christi

United Kingdom
4429 Posts

Posted - Jun 11 2024 :  09:32:44 AM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Elderberry,

That's correct, yes. A light uddiyana bandha can be held throughout Spinal Breathing Pranayama. Before adding this, someone would need to have been stable for a while with their existing practice, and there would need to have been a reasonable period of time passed since they added any other advanced practice.
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