Lessons In Flying Unlocking the Mysterious Mulha Bandha

 

 

Angela Kukhahn in Handstand. Photo by Leelu Morris

How Does One Unlock The Power of Mula Bhanda?

Bandhas are energy locks that help us to direct Prana within the body. For some they are somewhat of a mystery and are seldom discussed in depth within the yoga classroom. For some discussing Mula Bandha in particular is may be difficult as it deals with the pelvic floor muscles and for some teachers may be embarrassing.
mula_bandha

To engage mula bandha, exhale and contract the muscles between the pubic bone and the tailbone, pulling the perineum up in towards the abdomen. As you pull the pelvic floor up, feel the lower deep abdominal muscles engage and pull towards the spine. This sort of feels like stopping the flow of pee, or for guys stepping into icy cold water I am told. Initially you will need to contract the anus and the genitals, but over time work you will learn to relax the external muscles and solely isolate the perineum deep inside the body to find the lift.(the space between the anus and genitals). You can practice isolating Mula Bhanda with the breath and work on lifting it in and up and either holding it or using rhythmic contractions with the breath. Do not hold the breath or strain. Try to maintain calm and centered breathing throughout your practice of Mula Bandha. Below is a drawing of exactly what you are lifting, the muscles of the pelvic floor form a hammock of sorts that supports the internal organs at the base of the spine.
mula bhanda

My hero Sadie Nardini explains it here in a fantastic YouTube video I highly recommend you watch she calls it The Most important Yoga Pose

Using mula bandha with yoga postures has many benefits. It helps with jumping especially as it integrates your core on the very deepest level. It helps build core body strength, enables you to hold the postures longer, and helps to prevent injuries. Mula bandha also increases your energy and vitality, and provides an overall feeling of well-being. Using mula bandha to support the asana from your core body allows the distal muscles to relax, enabling the body to use less energy to hold the posture. Mula bandha usually begins to happen naturally over time with the practice of arm balancing and inversions.

If you have a hard time finding Mula Bhanda at first don’t worry that is very common and over time breath work in particular will help strengthen it until you can feel a strong contraction and lift.

David Life founder of Jivamukti yoga centers in NYC wrote an excellent article on Mula Bhanda called “To Infinity and Beyond” and says

“Mula bandha is said to cut through brahma granthi, the energetic knot of our resistance to change, which lies in mula-dhara chakra. On the physical level, practicing mula bandha creates attentiveness in the supportive musculature of the pelvis. This increases the stability of the pelvis, and, since the pelvis is the seat of the spine, its stability creates a safe environment for spinal movement. Thus, mula bandha strengthens—and teaches the importance of—the solid foundation that should underlie any movement.”

Another fantastic article is found HERE and is a very practical guide on some exercises meant to guide you into discovering Mula Bhanda in some very basic asanas to get you started!

Which One Of Your Chakras Needs Work?…Another Chakra Test

chakras

While browsing the internet I came accross Cobolt.com.au and yet another Chakra test. I took it and thought it was pretty enlightening and thought that you guys would enjoy it too!

The Chakra Test

Obviously, I do not know how accurate this test is, however it was fun to take and you just might learn something interesting about yourself while taking it! Enjoy!

Advanced Yoga Backbend Transition Video with Angela Kukhahn

Here is a video of me practicing an advanced yoga backbend in Krista Cahill’s class at Yogis Anonymous. Below is a yoga sequence that leads to the backbend in this video.

You should always warm up with some backbends and chest openers first such as…

1. Forward Fold “Uttanasna” with Hands interlaced behind your back (hold 5 breaths and then switch the interlacing and hold for another 5)

2. Cobra Pose with hands interlaced behind back (hold 5 breaths and then switch the interlacing and hold for another 5)

5. Sun Salutes A and Sun Salute B (5 rounds each is my preference but at least 3)

6. Low Lunge + Half or Full Hanumanasana (hold each 8 breaths)

9. Sirasana (Note position of hands as you will need this for the final pose)

7. Dhanurasana “Bow Pose” (2 rounds holding 8 breaths each)

8. Ustrasana “Camel Pose”

9. Supta Virasana

10. Kapotasana or Kapotasana prep

11. Bridge

12. Wheel (5 rounds holding 5 breaths each)

13. Dwi Pada Vipariti Dandasana

14. Eka Pada Vipariti Dandasana Variation (Final Pose!)

1.Come into Wheel pose with the crown of the head placed on your mat.
2.Lift your shoulders vigorously away from the ground to keep pressure off of your neck.
3. Line the elbow up with the shoulders so that they are in ine with and no wider than your shoulders.
4. Draw the shoulders into your shoulder sockets, away from the wall you are looking at and towards your hips.
5. Straighten your arms
6. Bend your right knee and set the shinbone flat on your mat.
7. Grab your heel with your hands and try to snuggle the crown of your head to your inner arch of your right foot.
8. Pull the elbows in as you press into the mat with your forearms and lift your shoulders up.
9. Wiggle the left foot free as your roll your inner thighs to the floor.
10. TA DA!

To come out: Step your left foot back in. Uncurl your right leg.

Cool Down

End with a gentle twist on your back (Hold and breath in to your lower belly to release your lower back muscle and spine), Happy Baby, a few forward folds (Paschimottanasana, Baddha Konasana, and Pigeon or Thread the Eye of the Needle), Plow, Shoulderstand, and a long, juicy, restful Savasana!

Is Botox Freezing Your Emotions?

Is Botox freezing your emotions?Is Botox freezing your emotions?Is Botox Freezing Your Emotions?

I thought this was really interesting and a little bit scary too!

A study out of Barnard College suggests that facial expressions trigger the brain to experience emotion. Botox, which paralyzes muscles and markedly reduces facial expressions, could therefore affect how much users feel emotions.

Scientists capitalized on the way Botox works, causing temporary muscle paralysis, to study the motor skills used to change the face’s expressions, the intentions that spur those expressions, and the sensory feedback they send to the brain.

Isn’t it interesting that the looks on our faces could signal our feelings? And that the pursuit of an ageless appearance could mean people not only present themselves as less emotional, but that it truly makes them that way?

How do we know our Chakras are opened? (via Tirisula Yoga’s Blog)

This article on the Chakras really helps to simplify a rather hard question. The Chakras may seem very esoteric and foreign at first, but this article really helps you to explore your own inner landscape with a few simple inquiries. Enjoy!

The word Chakra comes from an ancient Indian language known as Sanskrit, chakra means vortex, spinning wheel or circle. Chakras are the major centres of spiritual power in the human body and are circles of energy, which balance, store and distribute the energies of life all through our physical body along the subtle body. The subtle body is the non-physical body or also known as our soul or spirit, which overlays our physical body. The belief in … Read More

via Tirisula Yoga’s Blog

Yoga Crow Pose to Handstand Transition with Kristin Olson

Do you need some inspiration to pull out the ‘ol yoga mat today and do a vinyasa or two?

Well, look no further!

In this yoga video yoga teacher Krisitn Olson demonstrates going from yoga Crow pose to Handstand! this video was taken during Krista Cahill’s class at Yogis Anonymous which is where you should bring your fine yogi self should you ever decide that you too would like to do such feats of  strength, grace and agility!

Get a Tattoo and Change Your Point of View

Conscious, Ink temporary tattoo

What if what we wore on our skin in the form of letters, words or symbols affected us in a way that made our lives better, easier and more prosperous?

What if we could change the affirmations that we wore on our skin according to the challenges we faced that particular day.

So, for instance, the day you have to say, face the bully from your childhood you tattooed the word Courage on your skin to remind you to stay strong. Or perhaps the word Truth for the moments you need to find the words to express what is bubbling up from deep within.

Well, now this is all possible, it is called Conscious Ink! This is what the creator of this new phenomena has to say about it…

“Conscious, Ink. Temporary on the skin. Indelible on the soul.

Can a temporary tattoo leave a lasting impression on our disposition? Make a permanent mark on the world? Or genuinely improve our health and healing ability? Crazy as it seems, I say yes. In fact, I’m very enthusiastic about it! I’m Frank Gjata, founder of Conscious, Ink–whose mission is to raise consciousness around the world, one tattooed (albeit temporarily) body at a time. Of course, these are no ordinary tats.”

Franks work is inspired by Dr. Emoto’s research on how even water molecules are impacted by our thoughts, words, and feelings.

Since our bodies our made up of 70% water that means we too are very heavily influenced on a cellular level by words, especially ones written on our bodies no less!

Dr. Masaru Emoto discovered that crystals formed in frozen water reveal changes when specific, concentrated thoughts are directed toward them. He found that water from clear springs and water that has been exposed to loving words shows brilliant, complex, and colorful snowflake patterns. In contrast, polluted water, or water exposed to negative thoughts, forms incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colors.

How about exposing the water in your body to loving thoughts, intentions and affirmations? These temporary tats are a great way to stay on track if you are someone who forgets to set positive intentions!

love temporary tattoo

7 Kundalini Yoga Postures to Clear the Chakras (via Blogs on topics which I find interesting)

chakras and glandsI missed going to my Kundalini class this week and find myself missing it already. Here is a cool post which gives you a pose for each energy center of the body! Enjoy!

7 Kundalini Yoga Postures to Clear the Chakras “Men of great knowledge actually found out about the chakras – their workings, their petals, their sounds, their infinity, their co-relationship, their powers. They found that the life of a human is totally based on these chakras. They developed into a whole science. This total science gave birth to Kundalini Yoga. That is how Kundalini Yoga was born.” – Yogi Bhajan The human body is a complex system encompassing vast energy systems that are not … Read More

via Blogs on topics which I find interesting