Posts tagged exhale
With hands on thighs, Bettina demonstrates Uddiyana Bandha. She exhales, pushing the air out of the lungs, getting them as empty as she can. While the breath is held out, she presses against her thighs, and—while keeping the abdominal muscles completely soft and relaxed—she sucks in her stomach without allowing air into the lungs. Her neck and shoulders remain as relaxed as possible.  

  When she can no longer hold her breath out comfortably, she relaxes, allowing her abdomen to release and her ribs to lower. She lets air in slowly, inhaling as she comes to a full standing position.

With hands on thighs, Bettina demonstrates Uddiyana Bandha. She exhales, pushing the air out of the lungs, getting them as empty as she can. While the breath is held out, she presses against her thighs, and—while keeping the abdominal muscles completely soft and relaxed—she sucks in her stomach without allowing air into the lungs. Her neck and shoulders remain as relaxed as possible.

When she can no longer hold her breath out comfortably, she relaxes, allowing her abdomen to release and her ribs to lower. She lets air in slowly, inhaling as she comes to a full standing position.

The Two Uddiyanas

It is important to distinguish Bettina’s Uddiyana, which lifts the respiratory diaphragm way up into the ribcage, from the other Uddiyana, which is a miniature version of Bettina’s.

Bettina’s Uddiyana is sometimes referred to as Uddiyana Bandha Kriya. It is one of the six kriyas, and involves retracting the entire abdomen (lower and upper belly) while on an exhale retention. We do not do this Uddiyana with asana.

The mini version takes place entirely below the navel during the motion of inhaling and does not lift the diaphragm. More specifically, after exhaling and toning the pelvic floor, you inhale while slightly drawing back your abdomen just in front of the sacrum, immediately above the pelvic floor. Mini Uddiyana, which you would normally call into action with Mula Bandha, causes the psoas muscles to relax. (Mini Uddiyana is what we want during asana.)