Bandhas: A necessary component of breathing and engaging the body correctly in the asanas is mula and uddiyana bandha.
‘Bandha’ means lock or bind, and refers to holding the body’s strength and energy together with mula bandha, located at the pelvic floor, and uddiyana bandha, located inside the waist. Correct application of these two bandhas significantly increases the benefits of both the asanas and the breathing. Without the bandhas yoga practice is far less effective and can lead to a host of problems.
Guruji used to talk much more about mula bandha during asana practice and would often yell out “control your yanus” (“yanus” meaning “anus”) as a way of instructing the student to do the posture correctly by engaging the inner strength, breathing and keeping the energy moving upward, which is characteristic of proper mula bandha, instead of down and out.
Relephant from Yoga Comics:
The Yoga Comics team:Editor: Jessica Walden began a daily yoga practice in 1994 and, over the last 12 years, has made several trips to Mysore, India, to study with Guruji, Sharath, and Saraswati. She is married to Andrew Hillam and a happy mother of two boys and one chihuahua.Editor: Elise Espat first practiced Ashtanga Yoga with Guruji when she was living in NYC and has since made several trips to Mysore, India to practice with her teachers Guruji, Sharath, and Saraswathi Jois. A couple of years ago Elise and her husband moved to New Mexico where they enjoy spending time in nature with their little dog named Maple. Most mornings (except Saturdays and moon days) you’ll find Elise teaching at the Albuquerque Ashtanga Yoga Shala. She also keeps the blog www.aylibrary.blogspot.comCartoonist: Boonchu Tanti, an engineer who loves drawing cartoons, began a daily yoga practice since 2007. He has made several trips to Mysore, India to study Ashtanga Yoga at KPJAYI with Sharath since then. He now works and resides in Bangkok and draws cartoons as hobby during free time. Find his works at www.alliscoming.com
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Ed: Kate Bartolotta