We have probably heard many times in our regular classes our teacher saying the words ‘activate moola bandha’. If you are lucky, you know where it is, what it is, why you are doing it and, most importantly, are able to do it. However, if you are not one of the lucky ones, here are a few pointers to get you in the know.
Why do you want to do this? This is an incredible technique, kept secret by the yogis for its far-reaching effects. It impacts us from the physical all the way through the pranic, subtle and mental bodies. It can be done anytime, anywhere and is an amazing boost to yoga practice. Here are a few of the highlights;
1. Physical: In the beginning, most people use MB to assist in the creation of a stable core. In some strong flow styles, they will use MB to support a lightness in the body as the practitioner moves between postures (e.g. in ‘jump-backs’ or lifting into arm balances).
2. Deep relaxation tool: There are some important parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation and rejuvenation) fibres in the pelvic area, which are activated upon correct contraction of MB. This leads to a decrease in heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, and an increased feeling of rest and wellbeing. What this means is, when you activate MB you are bypassing your mental stimulation of stress, and accessing calmness directly. Like you are ‘hacking’ your nervous system. This is amazingly brilliant in today’s super stressed out society.
3. Subtle: However, this is only the beginning of how cool this technique is, the main impact is a subtle one. MB blocks the descending movement of apana vayu or downward flowing energy, and redirects it upwards. This is good news for lots of reasons.
4. Kundalini: The activation of Kundalini Shakti, a special kind of energy that lives in Mooladhara, your root at the base of your spine. After being lucky enough to have been initiated into some kundalini practices, I must say that the stronger my MB, the stronger the kundalini techniques, and (as a general rule) no MB = no kundalini rising.
Where is it?
For blokes it is in the area of the perineum (the ‘notcha’ point…not yer scrotum, and not yer anus, but in-between the two ;)), and for ladies it is the set of muscles around the cervix.
It may take a bit of time to isolate the specific muscles, in the beginning often the muscles around the anus or front of the pelvic floor also contract, but with practice you can isolate all 3 of these areas, and activate each separately.
These are 3 separate techniques in Yoga, if you are interested in knowing more about this, please see ‘Moola Bandha, the Master Key’ or other publications by the Bihar Yoga school on bandhas as they make it very clear. Also reference them for exact location if needed.
How do you engage it?
You contract and lift the muscles inwards and upwards.
How does it work?
Physically: You will strengthen those inner core muscles and learn to isolate and connect to the pelvic area more effectively. You improve the blood flow in this area of your body. You will also improve your neural connections to this aspect of the nervous system, so as you squeeze the muscles, it will send a signal through your nervous system, to your brain which triggers certain neuronal circuits and creates a more sattvic state of being in your body.
Pranically, the lock unlocks knots (granthis) in the being which stop the energy from moving upwards along the spine. Upon release of the bandha, it removes physical and mental impurities, and flushes prana through the body.
What would happen if you integrated this amazing technique into your being? Why not have a try? 😊