Advanced Yoga Practices
Lesson 119 - Some Other Approaches to Mulabandha
Date: Sun Feb 15, 2004 11:16pm
Q: I am still having some difficulty with mulabandha also. It is very difficult to keep the muscle flexed. Sometimes I’m not sure if it is unless I flex it strongly. Are there any intervening exercises I can do? If I just don’t do it- I can’t see how I will ever advance to the stage where I am able- yet it takes all my effort to do it during pranayam and I don’t know if that is good.
A: It might be a bit easier if you do the gentle flexing on the rising inhalation during spinal breathing and release it on the descending exhalation. Then the breath will be a cue for flexing. This is actually called asvini mudra, the alternating flexing and releasing. If that does not work, then try a short flex at the bottom and a short flex at the top during spinal breathing, again, the breath is the cue. This last approach might be the easiest, as it is a short flex and done. Once you get comfortable with that, then maybe do two at the top and bottom of each cycle, and later move on to the rising flex and no flex going down. Later, you can let it become more spontaneous as it was originally given. Another thing you can do is flexing exercises for ten or more repetitions a few times during the day. It is just a matter of developing coordination and familiarly. Then it becomes second nature. The sphincter is part of an organ of spiritual ecstasy. We find them all over the body in yoga, sometimes in the least expected places.
Where we’d like to end up with mulabandha/asvini is with spontaneous subtle movements as ecstatic energy moves naturally inside us. It will evolve gradually to that as our inner ecstatic conductivity comes up. All the other bandhas and mudras will participate in simultaneous coordination, so it will be like one spontaneous whole body mudra going on subtly everywhere inside us. When it gets to that stage we have found our new natural spiritual biology. One slip of the eyes upward and we are in ecstatic bliss everywhere inside. Our nervous system is permanently transformed to a higher mode of functioning.
There is no one way to awaken mulabandha/asvini. There is no exact formula. Experiment and see what works for you. It is supposed to feel good. You may find an option that I have not mentioned that works for you and does not distract excessively from other practices. Of course, add siddhasana in with any of these mulabandha/asvini combinations and there will likely be distraction for the short term. That goes with the territory. It is a transition period filled with delight, and it gets more delightful all the time. Eventually it calms down to an unending divine smile radiating from within.
The guru is in you.