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January 5, 2012
Mulbandh is root lock. The teachings of Yogi Bhajan on Kundalini Yoga emphasize it as critical to the practice. Here’s why, and how:

Root Lock is the most commonly applied lock. It coordinates, combines and harvests the energy of the rectum, sex organs and navel point, the lowest three chakras. Mul means root, base or source. The first part of the Mulbandh is to contract the anal sphincter and draw it in and up as if trying to hold back wind. Then draw up the sex organ so the urethral tract is contracted. Finally, pull in the navel point by drawing back the lower abdomen towards the spine so the rectum and sex organs are drawn up toward the navel point. This creates a subtle alchemy of two major energy flows of the body: prana and apana. Prana is the positive, generative energy of the upper body and heart centre. It is drawn in and down through the inhale. Apana is eliminating energy and it’s direction is naturally downward. Mulbandh pulls prana down and apana up to the navel point. This combination of energies creates a kind of ‘atomic fission’, giving the energy that releases kundalini, the quintessential spark of the force of consciousness. Lest this sounds intimidating, bear in mind that we practice first, experience later! Simply put, mulbandh enables the practitioner to ‘harvest’ the energy from a yoga exercise and can therefore be liberally practiced at the end of every posture. Mulbandh is most commonly practiced with the exhale or at the end of an exhale; you can then really feel ‘you’re getting a grip’. Some yogis prefer applying mulbandh at the end of the inhale, the benefit being of deeply bringing breath and prana to the merger of prana and apana.

In our teacher training, we split into groups and have the student teachers direct the practice of mulbandh as a dignified good practice in order to deliver this instruction gracefully and with a straight face! Mulbandh is not just spiritually effective, it also yields tangible physical results. Kundalini Yoga with it’s by-line, ‘Yoga of Awareness’, gives us potent tools to unlock and heal pain and cellular memories. Mulbandh cleanses the lower chakras. Thoughts, memories, fixedly held ideas and apparent blocks may come flooding back, giving one an opportunity to deal with the past as it is buried in the body. Contracting and releasing kegel muscles in the pelvic floor area helps one ‘own’ one’s sexuality as opposed to it being an area of danger or victimhood. Physically, mulbandh counteracts incontinence in mature years. When mulbandh is well known and practiced, simply drawing in the navel will engage the pelvic floor muscles also. In so many yoga postures, we need to remind ourselves to lengthen the spine and counteract ‘duck-tailing’. Mulbandh beautifully draws the sacrum down and tucks the tailbone under, releasing the psoas muscles and supporting the strength of the abdominals.

Pritam Hari Kaur Khalsa lived in an ashram in Germany before she came here two decades ago. Dedicated to natural foods, healing and yoga, she is the lead trainer for the Kundalini Yoga teacher training program in SA, as taught by Yogi Bhajan. She created a revolutionary picture book in yoga, called The Kundalini yoga Fan, that makes the complex Kundalini Yoga instructions easy to follow whilst staying in the meditative consciousness of practice. She and her husband now live on an eco-village farm community in the Western Cape.

Visit the YAA online shop to purchase your Kundalini Yoga Fan


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