1. Begin in Ardha Savasana (half-corpse pose) with both feet planted on the floor about 18 inches away from the buttocks. Raise the arms overhead as you slowly inhale pulling the spine off the floor, bone by bone. The inhale ends when the hips are lifted as high as possible and the back of the arms contact the floor.

2. Remain here during an explosive rapid exhalation, keep the lungs vacant of any breath whatsoever, and release any abdominal tension. Leave the arms resting overhead on the ground, and slowly lower the spine back down into Ardha Savasana, allowing the plunger-like suction to form at the base of the lungs as the diaphragm is drawn towards its vacuum. Uddihyana Bandha forms quite naturally without any strain.

3. Once the pelvis touches down, the arms quickly reset themselves to Step #1, and a new cycle of inhalation begins.

For more “under-armor” explorations, check out my classic Core Integration video. Or come to any of my Yoga Tune Up® Core workshops and I’ll help in person!

Learn about the best way to strengthen your core.

Find your nearest Yoga Tune Up® Class

Learn about Yoga Tune Up at home.

Jill Miller

Jill Miller, C-IAYT, ERYT is the co-founder of Tune Up Fitness Worldwide and creator of the self-care fitness formats Yoga Tune Up® and The Roll Model® Method. With more than 30 years of study in anatomy and movement, she is a pioneer in forging relevant links between the worlds of fitness, yoga, massage, athletics and pain management. She is known as the Teacher’s Teacher and has trained thousands of movement educators, clinicians, and manual therapists to incorporate her paradigm shifting self-care fitness programming into athletic and medical facility programs internationally. She has crafted original programs for 24 Hour Fitness, Equinox, YogaWorks, and numerous professional sports teams. She and her team of 500+ trainers help you to live better in your body with an emphasis on proprioception, mobility, breath mechanics and recovery. She has presented case studies at the Fascia Research Congress and International Association of Yoga Therapy conferences. She has the rare ability to translate complex physiological and biomechanical information into accessible, relevant moves that help her students transform pain, dysfunction and injury into robust fitness. Jill is the anatomy columnist for Yoga Journal Magazine and has been featured in Shape, Men’s Journal, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Health, Yoga Journal, Self, and on the Today Show and Good Morning America. Jill is regularly featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network. She is the creator of dozens of DVD’s including Treat While You Train with Kelly Starrett DPT and is the author of the internationally bestselling book The Roll Model: A Step by Step Guide to Erase Pain, Improve Mobility and Live Better in your Body. Based in Los Angeles, CA, she is a wife and mother of two small children and is currently writing her second book.

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Karla Knight

This is not as easy as it looks! Or as Jill makes it look! I’m going to keep working at it because I can feel the difference in my core strength.
Thank you ??

Stéphanie Marchand

This breathing is AWESOME… when you get it 😉 It’s really powerful and helps your mind, body and breathing to be one at the time. One tip for me was to not think about my breathing at the end of the exhale and just close my throat to feel the succion. It helps me to think about the stretch in my tubular core and arms.

Lyson

Les indications sont vraiment faciles à suivre. Je vais sûrement l’essayer avec mes élèves lors d’une prochaine classe. Aussi, il existe tellement de possibilités. Merci

Sandra

Thank you for posting this! I find this very helpful in how to lead/teach someone else in this breathing technique.

Ed

Having just eaten I will have to try this later – I can’t wait. I originally learned (tried to at least) uddiyana bandha standing with hands on thighs, so I’m eager to compare approaches.

Stacey Rosenberg

Thanks Jill. This is a great way to learn Uddiyana Bandha. I love your creativity and the idea of yoga under-armor!

Aubrey Heinemann

I am preparing for my 12 minute sequence and I just love being able to research the postures, techniques, and read about others experience. This tool that we are learning in YTU Level I is invaluable. It seems like it should be an automatic for everyone to dive in and keep studying but everyone has there habits, including me. I have never tried Uddiyana exactly like this and I appreciate the simplicity. I am beginning to feel more empowered to create other ways of doing things and really thinking out of the box. Thanks again YTU for bringing me the… Read more »

Yogic Under-Armor: Uddiyana Bandha in 3 Easy Steps | ECA World Fitness | One Body One World

[…] Reposted with permission from Jill Miller’s Yoga Tune Up Blog […]

Hilda

I tried this during our Yoga Tune Up weekend with Maura, Dinneen, adn Taylor and thought OMG, finally I am learning how to breath Uddiyana Bandha style; using my entire core. I will continue to practice this rhythmic breathing it felt as if I was cleansing, rinsing all my organs during the exhales. The power of the breath combined with our core!

Amy

What an accessible approach to Uddiyana Bandha – I have just started practicing this from the video sequence – and it feels so fantastic. – and balancing through the trunk of my body…Cannot wait to introduce this variation with explanation to others..Looks like I will need to take the Core Immersion module – this is all just too darn interesting and attainable -the perfect combo. Thanks Jill!

Jane

Thank you for this, so great to find a way to Uddiyana Bandha so easily! Always good to get a little reminder!

Alex Ellis

after seeing this in pictures and then watching the video with kelly starret, i think i may be able to try it. Your explanation is so straight forward and simple, thanks for making the mystical attainable! =)

Elissa Strutton

Uddiana Bhanda has been one of the most challenging pranayamas for me to teach new students. This variation on the floor will allow them to explore the exercise without much strain or effort as the bandha forms naturally with the rapid exhalation, holding the breath out followed by the movement of the spine back down to the floor. Brilliant! This I’m so grateful for this variation and your clear instructions. Thank you!

nicole

What a simple, straightforward technique–thanks!

Gwen

I was first introduced to this in one of your workshops. It showed me a new and valuable way to release out of Bridge or dynamic Bridge. I usually practice and teach a slow, controlled, conscious exhale coming down, and this gives a different effect, a deeper relaxation in the abdomen, which is so hard to find without laying over a big ball or a rolled blanket. While I love employing the bandhas in my practice, I find I don’t teach them much, so this was a good thing for me. It initially was difficult for me to connect to… Read more »

Karina

I started practicing the pranayama some weeks ago. I don´t know if I am doing the uddiyana bandha in a correct way but I have never tried it in lying position. I find your demonstration very easy and clear. I can´t wait to try the bandha in your way. Thank you!

Marisa

I’ve never experienced the uddiyana bandha so clearly before. Next step is to really integrate it in my practise. Thanks for sharing!

Debbie Harrell

I have tried this now at home — cant wait to try at the studio – a very interesting way to find Uddiyana Bandha
thanks !

Lloyd

I love the feeling of the stretch of the diapragm as you settle your back on the ground one vertabrae at a time. It’s a great way to get in touch with the feelings of your core

Dominic C.

Uddiyana Banda…I had no idea the breathing technique it is and how it really just throws open the diaphragm and chest completely.

I not only see it as a great way to strengthen my core, but something that I want to incorporate into my practice much more. Often times it is passed over in classes and I find it to be a great tool to warm up, but also a pose to cool down as I make my way to Savasana.

thanks for the heads up and instruction…it’s the little things that create a stronger foundation. cheers

Rachel Mattison

Another great series to share. Thanks for this post. I am new to exploring the bandhas and uddiyana is no simple task for a novice. In a yoga training exercise I did a few weeks ago, we came into ardha savasana laying a strap under our backs a bit below the bra line and practiced engaging uddiyana bandha with a partner pulling on the strap from the side. The idea is that when uddiyana bandha is properly engaged, it should be very difficult to move the strap from under the spine. Mine slipped right out. :). I’m going to put… Read more »

Tiffany C

Thanks for the demo–until I tried this exercise, I didn’t realize that uddiyana bandha is actually a vacuum causing your diaphragm to move up in your body! It now makes sense as to how this can help during balance poses, as it actually shifts your center of gravity. And all this time I had thought of it merely as flexing your abs and sucking up and in–it’s so much more than that!

Janet Berkowitz

Thank you Jill for teaching us this method of uddiyana Banda! It was always so mythical when taught at another yoga training I had taken. This method is accessible for most everyone! It truly is quite amazing what the diaphragm is capable of doing!
And…. it was the very first time that I had actually done Uddiyna Baddah!! Yay!

Roselea

This method of Uddiyana Bandha is so accessible to even beginners, the use of gravity makes so much sense. Thankyou.

Gari Kylberg

Thank you for sharing this technique for finding my Uddiyana Bandha. I’ve been having trouble with this and understand that it is crucial for healthy diaphragm and key to unlocking inversions.

Yogic Under-Armor: Uddiyana Bandha in 3 Easy Steps | ECA World Fitness

[…] Reposted with permission from Jill Miller’s Yoga Tune Up Blog […]

M Empson

This is a great way to teach Uddiyana Bandha – especially before doing it standing. By laying on your back, one can really begin to see the diaphragm move and shift – which is particularly helpful for beginners.

alan

Have to agree that this is the ideal way to introduce Uddhiyana Bandha to a class. I’ve added it at the end of a sequence of ‘vanilla’ bridge lifts to cannonballs that I often use to warm up at the start of class. I taught it last week in a restorative class, explaining that the best way to restore is to improve the breath and that this sequence is the best way to strengthen the diaphragm and core to increase the power of your breathing. If you can get yourself to a yoga class at any level you can develop… Read more »

Terry Ford

I am new to this breathing pattern. I am simply in awe of the benefits and the control the body allows us to take on to tone certain internal organs.

Lynn T

I agree with Katie that this method of instruction for Uddiyana Bandha is very effective. I taught it one of my marathon runner clients to help relaase her tight psoas and knotted up diaphram. This client does not attend regular yoga classes and was totally unfamiliar with the exercise and was able to quickly pick it up and put it in to use. My client was able to complete the exercise herself wiithout me coaching her through it on the morning of her most recent 2011 Boston Marathon where she broke her previous PB – running a 3:28. UB made… Read more »

Nancy

The elusive Uddiyana Bandha revealed! I have tried to make this pose accessible to my students in many different ways but this is so effective. They do not have to exhale and soften the belly to prepare, searching for awareness while waging a battle with the ego. I find that is the most difficult part in the version on hands and knees. As you mentioned in a previous post, a healthy diaphragm is essential to effective breathing. In addition, I’ll admit to selling the importance of this bandha for it’s even sexier roles in floating forward in vinyasa and jumping… Read more »

todd lavictoire

this is one of my favorite ways to access uddiyana bandha. another “easy” way i find is the following:

exhale in “cat” (Marjariasana) – hold the breath out – flatten the spine (axial extension through the spine), then draw slowly into downward dog with the breath held out. move slowly. yummy. 🙂

Katie McClelland

After years of trying to effectively teach Uddiyana Bandha to my students, I am amazed at the simplicity and clarity of this method you demonstrate. Thanks, Jill! I will try it in my next class and report my experience 🙂

Sandra

Thanks for describing this easy and accessible exercise. Uddiyana Bandha used to be this elusive thing to me, but after taken an anatomy inversion and trying this exercise it really isn’t that difficult anymore.