Unraveling the mysteries of Mula Bandha
Of all the subtle, in some ways imaginary aspects to Ashtanga, Mula Bandha might be the most subtle and the most frustrating to figure out.
I pull what up where? I tighten what? Come again? You’re kidding, right?
Of course, this also means it may be the most important thing to figure out on this limb of the Ashtanga tree.
Over the weekend, David Garrigues jumped into this thorny topic. He does so by also encouraging all practitioners to incorporate yogic imagery into their practices. It is a journey into the subtle body, but one that is meant to provide concrete assistance to the very physical Ashtanga practice :
A yogic image can make the difference between utilizing the power of mula bandha or (in other words) being able to jump back or not. For a less advanced practitioner I highly encourage you to start understanding the Yogic language of imagery and for an advanced practitioner beginning to incorporate imagery into your practice will help refine and open up a whole new world of Yoga you never knew existed.
He then brings it right down to the root: Mula Bandha. He offers four different images; here’s the first, which resonates the best with me:
1) The pelvic floor carries the image of a flower known as muladhara the root support. To glimpse muladhara imagine the four corners of the pelvic floor as petals of a red lotus flower. The number four conveys completeness, a strong foundation, while the lotus conveys a deep rootedness and an upward reaching trajectory. The color red helps infuse the lotus with vitality, increases it’s ability to support you at the root and helps you to become more dynamic within the immovability of your pranayama position.
Check out his blog for the other three — one might be the key to your getting Mula Bandha down right.
Posted by Steve