Bandha (Body Locks)
There is a whole energy system that runs from the base of your spine (or root) all the way up your spinal column to your skull. Bandhas can help activate this energy system and control the energy flow within your body. In Kundalini yoga, we apply the locks to raise the Kundalini energy from the lowest to highest chakras to stimulate the flow of energy in our bodies. The Mula Bandha root lock, in particular, helps to redirect sexual energy to creative and healing energy.
The Mula Bandha helps to stimulate and balance the energies in the three lower chakras, which are connected to the rectum, sex organs, and navel center.
The root lock is usually applied at the end of exercises and meditations to “lock in” the healing effects. However, it can also be used during and/or throughout exercises. You can apply this on the breath in or out.
Benefits of Mula Bandha
- Prevents energy from escaping during/after practice
- Calms the autonomic nervous system
- Strengthens the pelvic floor, spine, and abdomen
- Can help alleviate back pain
- Awakens Kundalini energy
- Relaxes and calms the mind
- Relieves hemorrhoids and congestion in the pelvic area
- Prevents premature ejaculation in men
- Activates, balances, and purifies the root chakra
- Increased sexual pleasure
- Improves the health of the reproductive system
- Helps with symptoms of stress and depression
How to apply Mula Bandha
If you’ve ever done kegel exercises, you’ll be familiar with these actions (imagine holding in your pee — those are the muscles you’ll be contracting). Note that you should not apply the Mula Bandha if you are on your menstrual cycle.
- Sit on the floor (or yoga mat) with your legs crossed, heels tucked in as close to your body as possible. Make sure your spine is straight. Alternatively, if this is painful, you can sit in any position that is comfortable to you.
- Now, contract and hold the muscles around your anus (as if you were trying to stop a bowel movement).
- Next, contract and hold the muscles around your sex organ (as if you were trying to stop a flow of urine).
- Then, contract your lower abdominal muscles and pull your navel center towards your spine.
- You should try to contract all these muscles together in a smooth, rapid motion. Hold the muscle contractions and breathe for as long as it is comfortable for you.
- When you’re ready to release, have a long exhale as you relax your muscles and return to the starting position.