I am sure you have heard many times in Bikram Yoga - “Touch your chin to your chest, look at your stomach, and touch your forehead to your knee.”
Tucking the chin to the chest creates a double chin called Jalandhara Bandha or (throat lock) in Yoga Sanskrit and known as the “destroyer of old age.”
Jal means throat, jalan means net, and dharan means stream or flow and bandha means lock. Jalandhara Bandha can be considered the throat lock that controls the flow of energy in the nerves and blood vessels of the neck.
The chin-to-chest stretch is immensely powerful because it compresses the sinuses on the main arteries of the neck which helps to regulate the circulatory and respiratory systems and helps to balance the thyroid and metabolism. The neck muscles react to stress strongly, thus stretching the neck muscles has an immediate effect on one’s state of mind and how we express our emotions.
Touching your chin to your chest also affects the only blood vessel that passes through the neck to the brain, known as the ‘Vidyan Nadi’. This blood vessel has two parts the Carotid Sinus and the Carotid Nerve and these are known as Carotid Arteries. The pressure applied here has a positive affect on a person’s health because the blood supply to the brain is reduced and helps to lower blood pressure.
As the spine lifts and rounds, the blood circulation increases in the spine and benefits the whole body.
This is just one of the many ways Bikram Yoga heals and restores vital balance to the body, and why I am so excited to share and teach this wonderful and therapeutic system! Eva
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