Mission Mula Bandha.

Via on Oct 23, 2010

Children’s birthday parties are usually accompanied by an excessive amount of jelly (or is that jello) and ice-cream, added to the concoction is the odd magicians trick and abracadabra you have the perfect party, well certainly that’s the case here in the UK. The picture of a Gynecologist and Yoga teacher in a Medic V’s Yogic attempt to rebuild the entire nations pelvic floor muscles isn’t what you would usually expect. However say no more ” Mission Mula Bandhais about to begin.

Mission Mula Bandha.

Having trained in various Yoga traditions over the past  20 years and taught a variety of people from all walks of life, when it comes to this gem of a pelvic lock I get the feeling that teachers and teacher trainers would rather run for the mountains than confront it’s complexities. Is this due to some kind of embarrassment or lack of knowledge on the subject? As teachers is it not part of our duty to look at our own fears and uncertainties and deal with the subject in hand? This particular Bandha is the mother of all Bandha’s and the advantages certainly out weigh any need for embarrassment. I’ll put my hands up and say that without my own study on the subject, without my own personal Sadhana and understanding of the Bandha’s it would have taken me a great deal longer to get to grips with Mula Bandha let alone teach it to my students. So part of this mission is to dispel a few myths and hopefully make Mula Bandha your friend (not your enemy) for life.

Simplicity.

Let us begin by putting simplicity into practice. We all relate to the perfect duos in life such as Tea and Cake, Fish and Chips, Fred and Ginger or how about the super heroes Batman and Robin. This crazy analogy isn’t as crazy as it seems, it certainly made me realise how important Mula Bandha was in relation to my own Yoga practice and the way in which it has influenced my teaching skills. Personally I believe Yoga without Mula Bandha just isn’t the same. Mula Bandha is a vital part of Yoga practice and it offers a wealth of mental, physical and spiritual benefits. On a more subtle level it’s a technique that works on channelling the energy associated with Muladhara Chakra, in other words our root or base chakra which represents the stage of consciousness where all basic survival needs are met. This includes Brahma Granthi, the energetic knot which governs our resistance to change. Other Benefits Include:

  • Balancing and tuning of the whole pelvic region
  • Stimulation of intestinal peristalsis
  • Relieves constipation and those dreaded piles
  • Helps in the healing of pelvic infections, prostatic hypertrophy and ulcers

What Does it all Mean and How Does it Work?

The basic meaning of Mula Bandha is pelvic contraction. Mula is to root or to firmly fix, in this context it refers to the root of the spine or Muladhara Chakra, the seat where the Kundalini is located. Mula Bandha is a vital source of energy release, practiced regularly in Kundalini Yoga to assist with the rising of Kundalini Energy. It’s effects generate the whole body via the brain and the Endocrine System making it extremely beneficial when dealing with asthma, bronchitis and even arthritis. Naturally Mula Bandha becomes a solid foundation for the breath, it helps to establish and control the breathing within the torso, balancing the connection between our higher selves and the part of us that’s connected to the earth plain. Not only is Mula Bandha the perfect way to control the pelvic floor, one of it’s key functions is to help in attaining sexual control or Brahmacharya, which makes it a wonderful aid when dealing with sexual frustration or disfunction, but we’ll save that one for another article, so let’s move on.

Dismissing the Myth.

Reading a number of books and articles on the subject I’ve noticed that there’s a variety of ways in which Mula Bandha is explained, so I’m assuming this will effect the way in which it is taught, right?Like Chinese whispers, if somethings taught in a specific way and then passed on with a few added twists and turns the teaching becomes detached from it’s true origin. Not to say that this is wrong but without getting too controversial, I’d like to introduce Mula Bandha the way I have come to know and love it, so please share your comments and suggestions below. Initially the area of Mula Bandha is difficult to locate and isolate, this is why teachers often recommend that Ashwini and Vajroli Mudra are perfected first in preparation for Mula Bandha itself. Ashwini Mudra is the contraction of the Anal Sphincter and Vajroli Mudra the contraction of the Urethra muscles. These 2 particular mudras should not be mistaken as part of Mula Bandha as they are separate mudras in their own right. When practiced correctly Mula Bandha has the ability to blend the Prana and Apana at the navel centre. When Mula Bandha is applied Apana is redirected downwards into Muladhara the first chakra and at this point it joins the pranic flow of energy at the navel point. When the 2 energies meet then Tapas is created (and i dont mean the typical Spanish culinary delights) the Sanskrit name for heat. The heat from these 2 combined energies penetrates the entrance of Sushmuna the central energy channel causing it to open, allowing the energy to rise up the spine stimulating and increasing spinal fluid.

In Time Refine.

With time, practice and a bit of perseverance Mula Bandha will become a natural process. The Perineum area is located between the anus and the genitals and the final step to help refine your Mula Bandha is to learn to isolate this point. Imagine the Perineum to be like a crossroads or a map for all the nerves in the pelvic region. When this area is balanced and stimulated correctly it can then send impulses from Muladhara Chakra all the way through the spinal cord. To receive the full benefits of Mula Bandha the Levator Ani muscle must be contracted. This muscle is the inner most layer of the pelvic floor which extends from the pubis to the coccyx and supports the uterus, bladder and the upper half of the vagina the prostate and rectum. Apart from being the equivalent of a ‘Pelvic Scaffolding’ it also helps to regulate the bowel. With the inability to physically demonstrate Mula Bandha in a class situation we rely on accurate instruction and the ability to be sensitive and connected to our internal bodies. This is often easier said than done especially for those who may be new to the Yoga path. The best advice I can give is to allow yourself to ‘feel’ with total awareness and by staying mindful, connected and focused it will help you achieve your Mula Bandha Mission. Not forgetting to Relax, Smile and Enjoy.

About Indra Singh

Indra Singh loves to write anything from Yoga Articles to Creative Writing works. She is a full time mother and works predominantly in the world of addiction therapy, helping individuals with their journey through recovery by assisting them with Yoga techniques to help support their daily lives. She runs general classes and workshops too and is an experienced Children's Yoga teacher. She's studied Aura Soma, reflexology, aromatherapy and is heavily into flower essences and vibrational healing. She also loves to knit. For more about Indra, visit her website, Facebook or Twitter.

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34 Responses to “Mission Mula Bandha.”

  1. Alamgir says:

    A very informative and interesting article

  2. indrasingh says:

    Thank you,
    not an easy one to tackle so comment appreciated

  3. Alamgir says:

    I liked the way you have addressed it.Not an easy topic to explain and not one which many teachers are comfortable in explaining in their classes.I hope in future you will be able to explain in greater details other aspects of yoga which happen to be somewhat of a grey area.
    Now I let me practice Mission Mula Bandha> Will there be a sequal? Mission Mula Bandha 2?
    Regards
    Alamgir

  4. shaolinsoke says:

    As an add on to my last post are there any books you could reccomend on this delicate topic?

  5. indrasingh says:

    Alamgir, thank you, a sequel???now there's a thought:0)
    Alway happy to give the grey areas a shot but it's always nice to have readers views too.

    Shaolinsoke,thank you, Not based in London but will be running a workshop there next year so if you are interested please add your information to the contacts box on my website
    Blessings

  6. Alamgir says:

    Thank you Indra! A follow up article would be great.
    It would be interesting to read and see how many more people have incorporated the study/practice of Mula Bandha into their personal practice

  7. Mwah says:

    Loved it.Beautiful article from a beautiful person.

  8. shaolinsoke says:

    Thank you Indra.I will add my details to your inbox. If I cant attend your workshop( as I dont know what I doing this evening :)) I let my friends know.
    Love and light- Shaolinsoke

  9. HDB says:

    It's always amazing to learn something new or see a different perspective on things.I was gushing with envy.If I knew what you have shared with us now much earlier in my Yoga training and daily practice I would be a better student.

  10. sauvignonblanc says:

    Nice article.What can we do help make people aware of Mula Bandha? Also why is this proven to be such a difficult topic to talk about?

  11. Thanks Indira for writing about the mula bandha. I had to rush over to my anatomy book to take a look at the Levator Ani muscle. Your description is thorough and is easy enough to explain in class without people turning red, I think. And luckily enough for yoga students, or teachers for that matter – we can practice mula bandha in the grocery store without having to worry about a police escort. haha! Good for you for putting it down so succinctly. ~ Heather

  12. dendrite says:

    Thanks for this post! It really helps me think about the different ways these root muscles work and I'll be paying more attention to them in class this week! Here's a link to some of the psychological connections to the root chakra which were offered by Carl Jung – which may just be an added spiritual/psychological dimension to the bodily processes. http://bit.ly/bX8A91

  13. candicegarrett says:

    Finally! I teach Mula Bandha in exactly the way you describe (with anatomy diagrams even!) and it is so so so NICE to find that other teachers are finally getting the nuances of this often misunderstood area!

  14. indrasingh says:

    Heather, thank you.the link to levator should have been created on my friend David on his site, he's an osteopath and knows his stuff, apologise if it wasnt up there yet
    Great link and thanks for the heads up dendrite
    Candice, good to hear you feel this way, spread the word, it sounds crazy but it's soooo important.
    keep up the good work

  15. indrasingh says:

    Levator Ani is now up and running, with the PERFECT explanation from one of the best Osteopaths in the world ( my personal view )
    So if this muscle creates cause for confusion click on the name and be confused no more:)
    Thank you David for your input on this important topic

  16. indrasingh says:

    Thanks David
    Like i said at the top it was a Gyni and myself that were having the conversation. He is keen for me to work further with him on this one as his belief is that not enough people are aware of the importance of the pelvic floor until it's to late.
    I get a kick out of the medical prof crossing the yoga world and vice versa, it just shows how it is all related.

  17. indrasingh says:

    REALLY!!oops i forgot
    Seriously though, yes I am aware that it's just as important for the men too

  18. Gaia Cosulich says:

    love it!Great job i never will get bored to read your articles.They so interestings and i can always learn somenthing new.Thank u!

  19. indrasingh says:

    Gaia
    that is kind thank you means a lot getting readers feedback

  20. TinyURL says:

    Having read this article with interest and out of curiosity, I think you should carry on with this theme as suggested earlier in the comments.I have seen that you write on numerous yoga realted topics but this subject needs to be addressed.
    Again with reference to earlier comments are there any books on this topic you could suggsest?

  21. indrasingh says:

    TinyURL
    thank you for your comment. Books such as Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha by Swami Sayananda Saraswati explain briefly what the Bandhas are about, any good yoga manual should.
    All the links i have included in the article are to help you the best i can without having to write a book on the subject:)

  22. TinyURL says:

    Thank you for you swift reply.

  23. pema gedan says:

    indra-ji

    thank you for your latest offering. your article brings beneficent insight into the process of how some yogis say ‘one brings the sun’s shine to snow mountain’. thank you

  24. Christine says:

    Well done Indra, another well written and interesting article.
    Invaluable information for anyone studying or teaching Yoga.

  25. indrasingh says:

    Pema gedan
    thank you for your comment and quote, a sweet offering thank you
    Christine, thank you too, aim to please

    with love

  26. Fabwithniceeyes says:

    Just read this. I learnt so much.Something that I did not know much about before has been explained in lay persons terms.
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.Keep up the good work :)

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