Integrating the Breath and the Bandhas

David Procyshyn
Instructor David Procyshyn
Average: 4.9 (61 votes)
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This video, the second in a series of three on core stability, covers the breath and bandhas (deep core locks), which together create stability and strength that you can use in your life and in your yoga practice, no matter what you are doing. Learning how to engage and strengthen the bandhas will allow you to feel a sense of power and lightness in your body, length in your spine and will show you how to practice yoga safely. The first class in this series is The 3-Part Breath and Ujjayi Breathing and the third class is Finding Stability In All Poses. You can also find all three together in our program Establish Your Core Stability and Strength and on our Yoga for Beginners page.

Equipment: None
Style: Gentle Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Pranayama Yoga, Yoga for Anxiety/Stress, Yoga for Back Care


appleby 2 months ago

This is the guide to yoga I have been looking for for so long, to start at the beginning and really understand on the deepest level the foundation of it all. ever grateful

jrdnlwn 4 months ago

I'm confused. Is uddiyana bandha hollowing or bracing? As I understand it, applying uddiyana bandha means taking a false or mock inhalation after a full exhalation while keeping the abdominal muscles completely relaxed; this will create a stomach vacuum, as well as a little concavity just above the sternum. This is very different from bracing, in which case the abdominal muscles contract as if you were about to be punched in the stomach.

Fiji McAlpine 4 months ago

The bandhas are a practice within themselves and many teachers and types of yoga teach them in different ways. Uddiyana bandha is usually done as part of a pranayama practice but can be incorperated into some asanas. The way my teacher explained it is that once the exhale is complete the abdomen is contracted inwards, drawn might be a better way to think of it. Then upon release of the organs and inward movement the inhale can happen. There should be no or little strain while practicing.

hope this helps,

dzuniga 1 year ago

I don't understand how to perform these breaths "without tension in the body" when I am holding a kegel, tensing my abs/abdominal wall, keeping my spine up straight, and pulling my shoulder blades together. Definitely no lightness in the head, only tension. Any advice?

David Procyshyn 1 year ago

Start with one thing at a time. I would suggest beginning with keeping your spine straight and breathing. Keep it simple, focusing on lengthening and lightening the spine (letting it release 'up') while breathing. Once you can do this without added tension, add another aspect - for example, the kegels.
Let me know how it goes!

dzuniga 1 year ago

Thank you very much for your reply! I will try that.

PianoWire 1 year ago

I thought I was doing OK until you asked us to engage shoulder and neck muscles at the same time as core and pelvic floor muscles. I was only able to hold everything for a few seconds. It felt as if there were so many different muscles to try to engage at the same time, each requiring significant effort, that my whole body tensed up. Even my legs were shaking. The only way I could breathe was fast and shallow. Is that normal, or am I doing something wrong?

David Procyshyn 1 year ago

It's normal at the beginning, but with practice - like strengthening any muscles - it will get easier and you will be able to slow your breath down. You're working new muscles, so it makes sense that it feels that way!

sng4ever 1 year ago

A wonderful tutorial on breathing and the bandhas that can help you with yoga and your life. I recommend this for all practitioners. David is great at explaining the bandhas and how to engage them.

kavitadrake 1 year ago

I am always struck by how David radiates kindness in his videos. It is clear he has a heart for teaching, and he has an enthusiasm for wanting to bring beginners gently yet thoroughly into this wonderful world of yoga. Thank you so much!