Mula Bandha is a particular action involving pressure or strain on the muscles, allowing energy to flow. The word “bandha” means “to bind” or “to lock”. With mula bandha, the reference is to the locking of the muscles of the cervix.
By opening and strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor, we can build a strong physical foundation. This broadening and strengthening, relaxing and steadying of the foundation is accomplished through a unique movement known in yoga as mula bandha. When practiced correctly mula bandha, enables the core muscles of the neck, shoulders, back, chest, abdomen, sides, hips, groin, and buttocks to be firmly “rooted” all the way down into the pelvic floor. Paradoxically, we feel more “grounded” even as we feel lighter.
To Practice Mula Bandha
- Sit in a comfortable meditative pose, preferably Siddhasana (with one foot into root chakra). Close the eyes, make sure the body is completely relaxed and the spine is erect. Women need to concentrate on the cervix, as it is the cervix and pelvic floor muscles which have to be contracted. In order to engage the right muscles you’ll have to enhance the awareness of the oval defined by the pubic bone, tail bone and the two sitting bones. After a few minutes of concentration, start to gradually contract and release the muscles of the pelvic floor/cervix. Contraction should last for a few seconds. Keep the breath normal. Contract, release five-ten times.
- Contract the muscles of the cervix and hold. Hold the contraction for sixty seconds, then release. Practice five times.
- Start off with a gentle or partial contraction. Contract just a little and hold without releasing. Then contract a little more. Continue like this, gradually increasing the tension and contraction ten times until full contraction is reached. Hold the full contraction for sixty seconds and try to breathe normally.
- You can practice mula bandha in conjunction with yoga breathing, or Pranayama, by slowly contracting the pelvic floor while inhaling for five counts, and then slowly releasing the muscles while exhaling for five counts.
- At the end of your exercise session be sure to relax. Relaxation is as important as work to build healthy toned muscles. You want a toned, not tense or tight, pelvic floor. So, relax!
- Increased strength of pelvic floor muscles. A strong pelvic floor can help prevent urinary incontinence later in life.
- Faster postnatal recovery.
- Minimal chances of uterus prolapse.
- Strong core.
- There’s evidence that regular practice of mula Bandha intensify women’s orgasms and make them easier to achieve.
- Women who have pain in the vagina or vulvar area during intercourse have gotten great relief by doing mula bandha in combination with psychotherapy.
Try to maintain Mula Bandha at all times, not just during our asana practice.
Sit on your mat, spine erect. Fully stretch both the legs in front of you. Bend the toes forward. Keep your hands by your sides, palms touching the floor and fingers pointing forward. Bend the left leg at the knee, place the sole of the foot toward your body and underneath you in such a way that it presses the anal slot. Now bend the right leg at the knee and position your right foot beneath the shin of the left leg. Your left foot should now be touching the right thigh.
Be certain that your head, neck and spine are in alignment and that you are sitting straight and tall. Place your right hand on your right knee and the left hand on the left knee with the palms touching the knees. Stay in this position for 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly come back to sitting erect, legs out in front of you.