3 Big Ways to Deepen Your Practice Pt 2: Engage

Mula Bandha: your internal super strength

Bandha in Sanskrit means to lock or close off. It refers to stopping the flow of energy for a purpose. There are three-mula bandha is the root energy lock (pelvic floor), uddhiyana bandha is in the solar plexus area, jalandhara bandha is the throat, and it’s called maha bandha when all three bandhas are active at once.

Mula bandha is the lifting of the pelvic floor, which is on the low end sort of between sitz bones, on the high end between and behind the hip bones. You can activate it by thinking about pulling up and in-it sort of feels like trying to hold in urine if that reference helps. I like to think about it as trying to pull your torso up and out of your pelvis. As you attempt to “lift your pelvic floor”, think about it as a wide space the size of your entire pelvis, rather than a very specific area. The bandhas are a huge source of strength and stability, but more than just strength-contracting mula bandha stops the flow of energy, so when it is released blood flows and energy moves in the chakras (particularly the associated chakra-muladhara). Mula bandha can help you feel grounded and powerful.

Mula bandha is important to activate in lots of postures, but it might be easier to feel when you are standing or kneeling and your legs are separate. Try in anjaneyasana (low lunge)-press into your front foot, and traction your front heel and back knee together (that’s like trying to drag them together but neither actually move). You’re going to feel you inner thighs strengthen, now pull your upper body up as high as you can starting at the pelvis. It’s also relatively easy to find in virabhadrasana II (warrior 2)-lift the pubic bone or front part of the pelvis up towards your ribs, now press into both feet evenly and lift up the pelvic floor.

You can practice activating mula bandha in most postures, intensifying the contraction on exhales. You will quickly feel stronger, lighter, and more expansive in all of your postures.



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