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Diaphragms Are Forever: A James Bond Guide to Uddiyana Bandha

in YogaDork Ed


by Claiborne Davis

If you’ve been immersed in the yoga world for a while (or say, at least a year), then it’s likely you’ve run across the term “Uddiyana Bandha.” But maybe you haven’t. (Ooodee yoodee what?) Relax. Don’t let the Sanskrit intimidate you. It means “upward-flying lock.” It’s a core element of the “kriya” practices described in publications by the Bihar School of Yoga.

Operative word: core. Uddiyana Bandha stretches the respiratory diaphragm and, myofascially speaking, interacts with lots of abdominal tissues. Perhaps it seems parochial to focus solely on the anatomical context of this practice, but let us not forget that yoga’s outermost “kosha” (sheath of consciousness) addresses the physical (i.e., you can’t get bliss without working on the body first).

Uddiyana Bandha is like the Aston Martin of breath vehicles. Speaking of which…

Watch what happens when Agent 007 meets this famous breath-refining technique.


Claiborne Davis made a break from seven years as a television news producer to become an E-RYT 200, Integrated Yoga Tune Up teacher and group fitness instructor. A fervent follower and player of tennis, he also burns through burpees at his CrossFit affiliate, actively combats ankylophobia among the masses and continues seemingly futile efforts to make cheesecake and deep-fried jalapeños into the perfect post-workout meal. For information, go to claibornedavis.com.



2 comments… add one
  • inanna

    ….but why mention the bihar school of yoga in order to contextualise it? personally, if uddiyana wasn’t part of my practice, i’d most likely give it a very wide berth at this juncture. that the practice is big within the bsy is hardly a good recommendation just at the moment….

  • Inanna,

    Thank you so much for your feedback. I appreciate it. I realize the Bihar books are not the sole source of learning uddiyana bandha. But they and my Yoga Tune Up® studies are where I first learned about UB and diaphragm stretching. I’m just teaching what I know and where I learned it from. Thanks again!


    Claiborne Davis

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