Maha Bandha or the great lock

Maha Bandha

Maha Bandha word is derived from the Sanskrit language. Maha means Great and Bandha is called a Lock. Hatha Yoga Pradipika mentions Bandha as a compulsory daily practice to attain the highest mode of Yogic practices.

It is a combination of three Bandhas, Mool Bandha (root locking), Uddiyana Bandha (abdominal locking) and Jalandhar Bandha (throat locking).

Maharishi Gherand mentions that a person should be master in it after practising all three Bandhas separately. It is an advanced practice that comes later when a Yogi has experience in all three Bandhas.

How to practice Maha Bandha

The great lock should be practised empty stomach early in the morning when there is a lot of availability of Prana Vayu or vital force in the universe. To practice Maha Bandha, this process is required: –

  1. Choose any comfortable sitting posture i.e. Sukhasana, Siddhasana and Padmasana.
  2. Keep straight the spine so the prana is moving freely to the entire body system.
  3. Place the palms over knees, just relax in posture.
  4. Take a deep breath, fill your lungs with fresh air and exhale fully outside.
  5. Make Kumbhaka or hold the breath outside. First make Mool Bandha, second practice Uddiyana Bandha and finally make Jalandhar bandha.
  6. Hold the breath for 20 to 30 seconds until it is possible. When you need to open the locks please open them one by one starting from Jalandhar Bandha.
  7. Please make sure that breathing is proper, it should not be disturbed. If it is required make 3 normal breathing.
  8. Practice Maha Bandha 5 to 10 times without any break and concentrate on the root channel.


Benefits of Maha Bandha

It brings the workings of all three Bandhas together. At the same time, we get all the benefits of practising Mool Bandha, Uddiyana Bandha and Jalandhar Bandha. There are so many benefits of Maha Bandha and these are: –

  • Maha Bandha is so effective in awakening Kundalini power.
  • It nourishes the intestines and they work progressively.
  • The endocrine system is very active after practising Maha bandha. 
  • It reflects on the solar-plexus channel and it is a wonderful practice for gaining a good appetite.
  • It brings complete stability to the body and mind.


  • It should never practice if the stomach is heavy. It may cause stomach aching.
  • If there is any surgery on the stomach, it should be avoided.
  • Maha Bandha should not be practised persons who are suffering from heart disorders, Hernia, Ulcer and Appendix problem.
  • During pregnancy, it is advisable not to practice Maha Bandha.

Note: Maha Bandha is highly advisable before practising Nauli Kriya of the Shatkarmas. It gives a perfect toning to the Rectus Abdominis muscle which is mainly used in Nauli practice.