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Integrating the Breath and the Bandhas

Beginner II
(65 Reviews)

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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 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.

Looking for more of a challenge? Check out the 14-Day Intermediate Challenge here.


  • None


  • Lower Back
  • Sleep/Relaxation
  • Stress/Anxiety


  • Gentle Yoga
  • Hatha Yoga
  • Pranayama Yoga
  • Yoga for Back Care
October 17, 2021

The explanations are terrific (although I wonder if the pelvic lift is self-evident to someone who has never learned kegels). Surprisingly, the practice seemed to trigger heartburn pain while I was doing it. Any thoughts on that?

May 21, 2021

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

March 20, 2021

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.

Comment Replies

Fiji McAlpine
March 31, 2021

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,

July 20, 2020

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?

Comment Replies

David Procyshyn
July 22, 2020

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!

Comment Replies

July 24, 2020

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

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