The term mula bandha refers to your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are responsible for sexual function and pleasure, core stability and your continence system. And for some yogis, it is considered the seat of prana (life force) in the body. Everytime I talk to someone about my pelvic floor workshop, I see a light of recognition in their eyes because they realize that they may be unwittingly suffering and there’s a simple solution. Here’s why your mula bandha is important:
1. These muscles work hard for us everyday, all day.
They are the muscles that manage your urine and fecal system, hold in your organs, facilitate sexual function and pleasure, stretch to allow vaginal childbirth and act as shocks for high impact sports. It contributes to your core stability, lower back and posture.
2. Use them or lose them.
Your pelvic floor muscle strength will decrease unless you use them. A weak pelvic floor means: you’ll have less control of your bowels as you age, less muscular function and therefore less pleasure during intercourse, difficulty with childbirth and even back pain. It’s never too late to start preventive strengthening or rehabilitation especially for those of us who have weak core stability, leak urine when we cough, have had surgery or natural childbirth. *You may need to release these tightly held muscles.
3. We are more than muscles.
Mula bandha has typically been introduced to yoga students as 1) a core strengthening practice which is required to advance many asanas/postures and 2) in an advanced Ashtanga (a type of yoga) series. However, it is also considered a spiritual practice. In energy anatomy, combining these muscles with breath can create balance in the first chakra – the seat of trust, instinct, health and prosperity. Advanced yogis develop a “mula” meditation that aims to cease thoughts, develop devotional awareness and realize a deep humility for life.
So whether you want to have a healthy pelvic floor or you want to deepen your yogic practice, it is worth asking these questions. If you answer yes to any of these questions, you need pelvic floor rehabilitation:
1. Do you have pain or difficulty with sexual function and/or pleasure?
2. Do you have back pain or need to improve your core strength?
3. Do you leak a little urine when you either cough or jump? Do you constantly feel like you need to urinate? Are you consistently constipated or have diarrhea?
4. Are you a high impact athlete?
5. Have you had surgery in this area, including prostate?
6. Are you pre or post-natal?
I didn’t know that I needed pelvic floor strengthening until I asked myself those questions. I now combine Pfilates with my work as a yoga instructor to identify, educate and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. For my next class: click here
For a pelvic floor assessment in Vancouver contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Let me know: Is your mula bandha happy and healthy?
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