Wondering what this article is about? It all lies in the title. Locking your roots a.k.a Mula Bandha in Sanskrit. Mula which means root or foundation and Bandha means lock. A lot of you may have heard this term and may have tried to implement it during practice, but you are still not sure how to or you just can’t do so during your entire yoga practice.
Let’s start with the basics. What is prana? It’s breath; inhale and exhaling during yoga practice. Now, what is Ujayi breathing? It’s the slow and smooth kind of inhaling and exhaling with a subtle sound you make from behind your throat during your entire practice. During this process energy is moving from your navel upwards and now if you can see, if we have three openings for letting air in and out during yoga – nose, mouth (generally closed) and anus. Now, the process is to keep your nose only open and the rest closed. Closing the mouth is easy, but how on earth can we do it with the anus? It’s just a contracting action. For instance, when you really have to use the restroom, what do you do? You contract your anus. Bingo!!! Same action you have to do during yoga. This is called Mula Bandha. It is more about contracting the perineum; which is the part between anus and your private part. But by contracting the anus, the perineum contracts as well.
Now why do you have to do this? First, it transfers all the energy upwards instead of downwards; moves apana upwards instead of downwards,it creates more stability, strengthens your pelvic floor, gives you good balance to flow through all the asanas, increases your attentiveness, it also compresses the bowel and abdominal region.It’s all about increasing the prana, and building a strong core and attentive practice which also builds strength, flexibility and of course keeps your more focussed.
Before you start practice- tell yourself – Must focus on mula bandha
During practice – If your mind wanders then focus on mula bandha
After practice- Practice contracting your perenium with pranayam
After after practice- Make it a genuine habit, practice mula bandha whenever you can!!
Holding Mula Bandha gives you a more wholesome and satisfying yoga practice.