Bandha is the term used in yoga for an energy lock or seal. Bandhas redirect prana (life-force energy) to promote good health and to control the energetic flow.
By learning how to contract and engage our muscles correctly we can effectively make ourselves lighter!!!
If we look at Plank Pose - Phalakasana as an example, in order to perform this asana safely and efficiently, we need to distribute the weight so that the whole body is connected (united) so that the muscles are all working together. In this example then, we need to draw the energy up from the hands, up the arms and into the shoulders. Then from the feet along the legs, embracing and lifting up through the core and finally up into the shoulders (the highest point). Then we spread that energy across the shoulders thus locking ourselves in position. See the direction of the arrows below for a visual.
There many bandhas throughout the body and we may discuss them in more depth in future posts or as we use them in class. See you there!