Advanced Yoga Practices
Note: For the Original Internet Lessons with additions, see the AYP Easy Lessons Books. For the Expanded and Interactive Internet Lessons, AYP Online Books, Audiobooks and more, see AYP Plus.
Lesson 105 - Hitting a Wall at Mulabandha
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, “Why This Discussion?”
Date: Tue Feb 3, 2004 11:28pm
Q: I started the practices at the beginning and was doing well till I hit #55, “Mulabandha.” I find it near impossible to “gently” flex the sphincter muscle. When I try, I become completely tense and experience a variety of aches and pains as a result. I keep trying, but can’t wait to get out of pranayama-which up to this point I had been quite comfortable. I’m also concerned with the sexual emphasis the lessons have taken. I’m looking for spiritual enlightenment and now I wonder if I’m doing the wrong practice.
A: If mulabandha is not good at this stage, it is a good time to back off to a comfortable level of practice and bide your time there for a while. It could be months or even much longer before you feel ready to go to the next step. That is okay. What you are doing is very advanced already. You will be purifying and opening at a good clip. It is your journey.
This approach to practices is unorthodox in that everyone can go at their own pace, so you must be measured in your approach and gauge your practices to your experience. Many of the practices described in the lessons have historically been reserved for the very few (esoteric), until now. So we all have a big responsibility in using this new approach. It is hoped that many more will be able to benefit from advanced yoga practices than in the past dark age.
It is not possible for anyone to zoom right through everything in a few months without hitting a wall at some point. It is a long journey we are on. Remember the lesson, “What is your time line?” The lessons are being put in place for the long haul, to provide an ongoing resource for aspirants at every level. The practices will become progressively more advanced as you read on, and some will seem outrageous. Naturally, at higher levels fewer will be ready, but there are folks at every level here now, so we go on. Over time, everyone will go as far as they are able and willing. The goal is to blaze the trail clearly from beginning to end for everyone’s use.
As for the sexual aspect, it can’t be separated. It is part and parcel of the middle of the journey. I have not been able to figure out a way to keep it out. So we are facing it head on. You will see how it fits in as you read on. Eventually sex is transcended to something much more. To ignore it is to hit the worst wall of all — pretending something is not there. Sex is there, and the energy will expand up at some point. If it does not, it only means there are obstructions to be cleared out. It is a fundamental reality in the transformation of the nervous system to higher functioning. If you are not ready to deal with it directly in practices, that is okay. Just bide your time. Meditation and spinal breathing will work to open and enliven the entire nervous system in more subtle ways, and you can avoid the direct stimulation of sexual energy if that is best for you. So leave mulabandha for now, and stay away from siddhasana too. Even sambhavi (at the third eye) is sexual when it connects, bringing ecstatic conductivity up the spinal nerve from the pelvic region. That is just how we are wired for enlightenment, you know. But you can do it all with meditation and spinal breathing. It just takes a little longer, and the sexual aspects are more behind the scenes. The experiences will ultimately be the same, and you will be ready for them. The nervous system will open naturally to its own truth, and you will be filled with light and bliss.
There is no particular place you are supposed to be on this broad spectrum of practices. Everyone is on the leading edge of their own journey to enlightenment. Wherever it works for you is where you are supposed to be. As purification occurs, you can move on at your own pace. Be careful to not overextend and expose yourself to ongoing difficulties. This is supposed to be fun. Choose your level of practices for a smooth, enjoyable ride.
The guru is in you.
Note: For a detailed overview on building a daily practice routine with self-pacing, see the Eight Limbs of Yoga Book, and AYP Plus.