Integrating the Breath and the Bandhas

David Procyshyn
Instructor David Procyshyn
Average: 4.9 (56 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/Pranayama Yoga, Yoga for Anxiety Stress, Yoga for Back Care


PianoWire 2 months 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 2 months 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 7 months 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 8 months 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!

Dalya 1 year ago

For a long time I had this question "How do I combine full breathing with tucking my belly?". Now I know.
Thank you very much David.

Yogi Paul 2 years ago

I have been practicing yoga for over 15 years and I have always wondered how I should breath and engage my core correctly. Thank you for this video. Now I feel I will be able to practice with more energy with the safety of my correct core engagement.

peppe 2 years ago

Hi David,
Maybe it is stupid question, but I got confused about breathing. You explained the "belly breathing" at the beginning, and then you introduced the concept of bandha, where we don't let the diafram going down (unlike the 3 parts breathing). My question is simple: which one is the right way of breathing during practice? Should I fill up the belly and then up to the ribs and so on...or I should use the bandha and keep the pelvic muscles on...or maybe all together?? Thanks, great video btw ;)

kavitadrake 2 years ago

It seemed kinda odd to have a whole yoga class (or two in this case!) where you just sat there and breathed. A few hours after doing this class, however, I could feel that my core muscles had definitely had a workout! You know that pleasant ache that comes from engaging a muscle that needs to develop more strength. I got that "just" from sitting and breathing during this video. So cool! Eager to work on the bandhas more.

gloonie1 2 years ago

Good video David, and very informative! How important is it to isolate the pelvic floor lift from an anal or sphincter lift? Are they all connected, or does Mula bandha aim at somewhere in the middle of the pelvic floor.

David Procyshyn 2 years ago

Wherever you look for information on this, you'll find different advice. In my experience, the main contraction comes from muscles that are between the pubic bone and tailbone (in the middle), but there still is muscle engagement around the anal sphincter. I'm not sure if it matters, though. The most important aspect is connecting the lift that you feel when you engage the pelvic floor with the energy that moves up the spine to the head, creating physical and energetic length and lightness in the spine.