Stalking the Elusive Bandhas

Gabriella's bum.jpgI’m supposed to have my mula bandha “locked” throughout my ashtanga practice. I hear that it’s the key to great yoga; that mula bandha is the doorway to flexibility,
concentration, body heat, core strength, to stopping my wayward prana
from dissipating into the universe, and to untold sexual happiness.

Who doesn’t want all that?

In a recent class, a bandha-obsessed
teacher reminded us that every pose should be supported by the
internal strength of the bandha locks.

OK, OK, I thought. I want it.

In my morning practice, I’m now
contracting every bit of genitourinary and anal territory I can. It
takes some focus.

Some day, I’m sure, I’ll be able to
sustain that contraction throughout one (yes one) Sun Salutation.
It’s just as well that I’m not there yet, because I can’t
actually breathe in and out while I’m doing the bandha thing. I
don’t know how many Sun Salutations I could get through without

When I add the second bandha (Uddiyana
bandha, or Abdominal Lock), I chest breathe like I’m running from a crime scene with a bag of cash stuffed inside my shirt

It was with huge relief when I read an
article this morning that said we shouldn’t be too upset if you struggle with it for the first four or
five years. Well, I’m struggling.

What about you? Do you get

Thanks to yoga for taking us to
netherland. Thanks to my niece Gabriella for the bandha shot. Thanks to you for the conversation,


Kristin Shepherd is a chiropractor, actor, and speaker (About All
Things Wonderful) in North Bay, Ontario.  Join her on the
and on
and on

This entry was posted in ashtangayoga, mulabandha, sunsalutations, Yoga and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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