Exploring Mula Bandha
Yoga provides many tools and techniques that provide support and strength in different situations. Mula Bandha or the root lock is one of those techniques.
Mula Bandha translates to root lock. Mula = root and bandha = lock, seal, tighten or hold. When used correctly bandhas hold the power for transformation and bring balance to the entire system.
The Mula Bandha helps to lock and seal pranic energy within the body, it provides support for Muladhara the root chakra. This chakra is required to support all of the other chakras above it. If muladhara is unbalanced the whole energy system can soon become out of balance. Which could be catastrophic, as each chakra or energy centre is responsible for maintaining the balance of different emotions, when emotions are unbalanced then so too is emotional health.
Learning to master this one simple lock could help maintain emotional balance and a sense of emotional security.
Emotional security might seem like a broad term. It is something that everyone requires in varying degrees, it is ever changing depending upon situations and circumstances.
What is Emotional Security?
Take each word separately “emotional” relates to all emotions such as love, hate, jealousy, anxiety, fear, joy etc. and “security” relates to how safe we feel or how safe something is. Put the two words together and it becomes personal, we want to feel that our emotions are safe, well balanced, well received and that they are going to be respected and not exploited.
Maintaining emotional balance and noticing when emotions are unbalanced can help us deal with some of the changes and challenges that life throws at us. Emotional security helps us to cope with life. Change is something that everyone experiences, it is guaranteed, sometimes positive and sometimes negative or a complete surprise. It is how we deal with and respond to change that will have the biggest impact on us, not necessarily the change itself.
How to perform Mula Bandha
Sit with a straight spine in any seated meditation pose. Breathe slowly in and out through the nose with the eyes lightly closed. When ready, draw up the pelvic floor muscles as you inhale. Relax the muscles as you exhale. After 10 repetitions add a breath retention, during the breath retention maintain the muscular contraction of the pelvic floor muscles. Repeat 10 more times.
Although mula bandha is taught in the early stages as a muscular contraction of the pelvic floor, after time and much practice you will become aware of just one central point being drawn up. Focus on this one central point usually in the cervix for a woman and the perineum for a man. Picture the area you are contracting as a ball of energy.
Muladhara the Root Chakra
Muladhara provides support for all of the other energy centres in the body. It is an incredibly powerful chakra that forms the root of our existence. It connects us to the Earth and helps to keeps us grounded and centred; it brings stability and provides a solid foundation. It also increases energy levels and vitality.
Solid foundations provide stability to keep us grounded and accepting through times of change or turbulence.
The importance of muladhara is not to be overlooked. When muladhara is unbalanced then so too are all of the chakras above it. Activating and strengthening mula bandha helps to keep muladahara balanced and strong to support all of the other chakras that are positioned above it.
How to use Mula Bandha off the Yoga Mat
When you feel un-centred or nervous find somewhere quiet to sit or stand and begin to centre yourself by slowing your breathing down. Work to establish a smooth and slow steady flow of breath. When you feel ready begin to activate mula bandha as instructed earlier in this article.
Next time you roll out your yoga mat, take time to explore mula bandha during your practise and notice the positive experience that this lock brings to your yoga practise.