Mula bandha is a practice in pranayama as well as meditation that is used to contain the prana or flow of energy. Mula Bandha in Sanskrit means root lock (Mula meaning root, bandha meaning lock). In Yoga, Mula refers to the base of the torso, i.e., the perineum and associates itself with the Muladhara chakra which is the lowest of the energy centers of the spine. Bandha in this context refers to damming a river – the river being the flow of energy. Yogis use these bandhas to direct the flow of energy. Listed here are a few poses to integrate Mula Bandha which you will learn during your yoga teacher training in Thailand. Notice how all of these poses achieve Mula Bandha by bringing the pelvis into a neutral position.
In the Tadasana or the mountain pose, the pelvis is like a basin which needs to be kept in a neutral position. As your pelvis moves into a neutral position, you will be able to feel the stability. It is achieved by the possible placement of the pelvis as you move from the anterior to the posterior tilt. In this pose, Mula Bandha is accomplished by lifting the pelvic floor and lengthening the waist and the groins.
To practice Mula Bandha in this pose, you can explore two variations: the Prana Dog and the Apana dog which are linked to inhalation and exhalation respectively. As the pelvic floor naturally gets drawn upwards, at the end of exhalation, you achieve Mula Bandha. When you lift the pelvic floor as you inhale, the pubic bone, the navel, and the lower ribs get lightly lifted. It leads to lengthening of the waist making it leaner as a result of which the ribs and thighs draw away from each other. You have now achieved both extension and flexion which creates a neutral pelvis.
As your pelvis moves into a neutral position, you will be able to feel the stability.
While you practice a Virabhadrasana, you lift the pelvic floor, the sternum as well as the pubic bone. This action moves your buttock forward in a way that they are underneath your shoulders and the pelvis falls into a neutral alignment.
Mula Bandha in Sirsasana
The Sirsasana or the head stand facilitates the achievement of Mula Bandha quickly and more naturally. It is because gravity is already doing its work pulling the pelvic floor in the right direction because of your inverted position. What you need to do is extend the front part of your body as you lift your pelvic floor. Reach strongly upwards through your legs and feet and lengthen your waist and groin. Your bottom should be in alignment with your shoulders which you can achieve by lengthening the flexors in your hip. As you do this, bring your sitting bone together and move the tailbone towards the pubic bone. This position is Mula Bandha.
Mula Bandha in Paschimottanasana
Before you delve into this pose, you will first need to start with the Dandasana and then put your weight on your sitting bones. This action brings natural curvature to the lumbar spine, and that is when you need to press your sitting bones down while lifting your pelvic floor and drawing up the pubic bone. Now you will try to lengthen your waist, raise the sternal bone, and slowly drift into the Paschimottanasana. As you do so, keep your focus on bringing the sitting bones together while they are still in a pressed down position and the lift your pelvic floor to achieve Mula Bandha.
When you learn how to engage Mula Bandha properly during your yoga teacher training, you will be able to experience benefits such as more vitality, relaxation and be filled with a sense of awareness. It also has a whole range of benefits for people suffering from stress, depression and even PTSD when used properly.