It is difficult to explain why this bandh is known as Jalandhar Bandha. However, one may guess that Rishi Jalandhar might have defined the act of this bandha for the first time, and it was therefore named after him.
If we try to trace the meaning of the word Jalandhar, "Jal" means "Net", in this case, net of Nadis (energy channels) and the word "Dhar" means to hold the flow of the fluid (Amrut), flowing through the nadis.
This bandha can be achieved without getting into any asana pose but generally it is practiced in Padmasan or siddhasan but any other meditative asana can be used.
Practicing the Bandha:
- In the meditative asana have the hands in either drone or dhyan mudra. Inhale slowly and deeply through the nose.
- Contract the throat as if you are swallowing.
- Bring the chin back towards the spine and gently press downward. It does not have to be a strong bend. Over time one will feel the compression of the windpipe.
- Hold the bandha for as long as it is comfortable, then relax the throat, raise the chin and exhale slowly through the nose.
- Repeat as many times as desired.
Benefits for Women:
Emotional tension related to menstrual cycle
Vishuddhi chakra, mental calmness, introversion
Contract the throat. Contraction is similar to what is done in ujjayi pranayama.
Slightly bend the neck forward but avoid excessive bending of neck.
Check if you are doing it correctly by trying to talk. If you cannot talk then the bandha is correct and you are preventing the flow of air out of the body.
Contract so strongly that it is painful. This bandha should be relaxing and calming.
Hold the air inside for too long, build up over time.
This bandha is the most important in practice of pranayama with breath retention. If one cannot practice Jalandhar bandha correctly then one cannot do pranayama. This is preparation for tribandha.
The pressure of the bandha slows the blood supply to the carotid artery which sends a signal to the brain to balance the blood pressure, preventing it from increasing, which can occur in breath retention.
This bandha stimulates vagus nerve, which is a parasympathetic nerve. This is stimulating parasympathetic nervous system. Blood pressure, heart rate slows down. Muscles are more relaxed, and it creates calmness in the mind and removal of thoughts
Improves blood supply to the cervical region of the spine.
Prevents air from entering the eustachian tubes which causes pressure on the ear drums.
Good for thyroid gland especially hypo thyroid. It has good effect on regulation of metabolism.
Prevention of coughs, throat problems, it is good for vocal chords.
Stress & anxiety
Precautions & Contra-indications:
high or low blood pressure,
cervical spondylitis or any neck pain,
Intracranial pressure, vertigo or any heart disease.
Practice with caution for hyperactive thyroid problems.
Beginners can practice from 4 seconds and slowly increase the time duration as per comfort. In the beginning doing 3 to 5 repetitions and then increasing repetitions as per comfort.
Variations & Tips:
Some people like to have their hands in drone mudra and arms straight. This causes a hunch in the shoulders but can help improve the Jalandhar bandha.
For those who find it hard to achieve the lock one can practice by inhaling with ujjayi, this helps one to understand and start the contraction of the throat.
Deep breathing and/or ujjayi breathing
Follow Up Poses:
Samyakasan – where the hands are placed behind the body and the head is tilted back to stretch the throat.
References in the ancient texts:
Jalandhar Bandha has been described in Hatha Yoga Pradipika in the third chapter :
Kanthamakunchya hridaye sthapayechhibukam dridham |
Bandho jalandharakhyoyam jaramrituvinashakah || H P 3-70
Badhnani hi shirajalam adhogami nabhojalam |
Tato jalandharo badhah kanthadukkhahoghanashanah || H P 3-71
The chin is to be pressed on the chest after contracting the throat. This bandha eliminates old age and death. The contracted veins in the throat ensure that the liquid from the skies is received here. Hence, the bandha has been appropriately known as Jalandhar Bandha, which means that it destroys any pain in the throat.
Gherands Samhita has also described the bandha :
Kanthasankochanam krutva chibukam hridaye nyaset |
Jalandharakrute bandhe shodashadharbandhanam |
Jalandharam mahamudra mrityoeach kshayakarini || G S 3-12
The chin is to be pressed onto the heart after contracting the throat. This Jalandhar Bandh supports sixteen types of bandhas and destroys death.
Siddham jalandharam bandham yoginam siddhidayakam |
Shanmasmabyaset yo hi sa siddho natra samshayah || G S 3-13
Jalandhar Bandh is Swayamsiddha and the sadhaka who practises this bandha for six months will, no doubt, achieve siddha status.
In both the texts, the description as well as the effects of the bandha is more or less the same. Both the texts have assured that the bandha causes destruction of old age and death. Observing this bandha gives peace and calmness to both the heart and the mind. This in turn increases the lifetime of the sadhaka.