Yoga Studies: The Bandhas, Day Two

by Angela Clark

What is Moola Bandha (mooladhara chakra)?

Often times in class you hear, “engage Moola Bandha!” and you might wonder, “how?” Or, you might just squeeze everything down there in the ‘secret chakra’ region and hope you are doing it right.  Hopefully, in this post, we will be able to clear up a few questions you might be having about this particular bandha.

We will go over the gross use of the bandha which is most often used in pranayama (breathing) practice and the subtle use of the bandha in asana (posture) practice.

In Pranayama Practice (Gross Level – Physical)

•    Contraction of the pelvic floor drawing the pubic bone, tailbone, and sitz bones toward each other and lifting the perineum up towards the abdomen. Usually done with retention of the breath and a focus of keeping the Prana in the body.

In Asana Practice (Subtle – Physical)

•    It is said that Moola Bandha happens subtly at the bottom of every exhale.  We can engage the muscles of the pelvic floor here as above but not retain the breath. Also, by lifting the inner arches of the feet we can draw a direct line up to the pelvic floor.

•    Happens naturally every time we are in an inversion and by engaging around that natural occurrence we can find more stability in being upside down.

•    Energetic Function: Stabilizing

•    Seals the lower region to prevent downward motion of Prana. Awakens the Kundalini shakti.

Benefits

•    Tones the pelvic floor region and the sexual organs of the body.  Creates a sense of stability both in body function and in consciousness. When performed, “pelvic stimulation activates parasympathetic (rest and digest) fibers emerging from the pelvic spinal cord.” – Tias Little

Have you ever been in a yoga class and had a question about a pose or something the teacher said but couldn’t find the right opening to ask the question? Or perhaps you were so “blissed-out” after the class, you completely forgot you had a question at all. Maybe you are a ‘yoga-geek,’ like us, and want to absorb any and all information about the practice of modern yoga.  If any of those sound familiar, then this column is for you. Each time we introduce part of the yoga practice and spend the week looking at it, dissecting it, and then connecting the dots. Feel free to ask any and all questions in the comments section about the topic of the week.

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About The Mala Yoga Blog

We are a Brooklyn-based studio that focuses on alignment, balance and community. Have a read, try one of our Practice Podcasts, or come in and say "hi" in person!
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