What Are Bandhas and Mudras?

Published: Mar 1, 2021 | Updated: Apr 18, 2021

What Are Bandhas and Mudras?

Although Bandhas and Mudras are often mentioned as distinct practices, a Bandha is actually a type of Mudra.

So, let’s start with Mudras. A certain Mudra (there are many) is a gesture or pose, and it can be done with the complete body although it’s often done with the hands and fingers (see the lead image of this post).

Mudras can have different meanings and different functions. For instance, a Mudra can have a symbolic, ritual or spiritual meaning in Hinduism, Jainism or Buddhism. They can also be used in traditional dance, or for physical, mental and spiritual health benefits in Yoga practices.

You may also be interested in:

In Yoga, they are often done together with Pranayama to (therapeutically) work on different parts of the body, or to stimulate or direct the flow of Prana (Life Energy) or other energies. In fact, it’s thought that a whole range of discomforts and illnesses can be treated with Mudras.

Bandhas (a type of Mudra) are so-called “muscle locks” and have as their aims to lock or keep Prana in very particular areas of the body and then, after release, channel that energy flow with increased pressure through the body. Of course, this is also done for health reasons or alternatively for a better meditation practice and for spiritual uplifting.

For an example of a Mudra and a Bandha, read our posts The Yoni Mudra Explained and Mula Bandha | Pranic Yoga Muscle Lock.

eBook - Traditional Asian Self-Care & Self-Healing eBook - Traditional Chinese Medicine eBook - Tantric and Taoist Massage and Bodywork

Related Articles

Mula Bandha | Pranic Yoga Muscle Lock

Pranayama Breathwork

Tantras, Yantras, Mantras, and Mandalas

The Indian Yoga Nadis | Prana Energy Channels

Chants, Mantras, and Visualizations in Massage Therapy

The Yoni Mudra