Advanced Yoga Practices
Lesson 55 - Mulabandha - Enlivening Sexual Energy Upward
Date: Tue Dec 23, 2003 1:36pm
Now we are ready to add some new elements of practice to our pranayama session. That is, in the writing and reading we are. In terms of your actual practice, it will depend very much on your time line. To review, you may want to go back and reread the lesson called, “What is your time line?“
Everyone is different, and you should only take on new practices according to your capacity. This means you should be stable and comfortable in your current pranayama and meditation routine before you undertaken new techniques. If you are borderline and go for it, you will find out soon enough if you are taking on too much. That’s okay. If you find that you are taking on too much too soon, just go back to a comfortable level of practice and try again later. Design a more gradual approach for yourself. No harm done. The American president, Teddy Roosevelt, said, “A man’s reach must exceed his grasp.” That obviously goes for women too. That is how we progress. But don’t lose your hand in the process. Use your common sense, and only take on what you can digest in a reasonable period of time. The knowledge will be there when you are ready for it.
It should be emphasized that the practices we will be discussing are not recommended without daily practice of both pranayama and meditation. If you try them without pranayama and meditation, you won’t get much out of them. And you could end up going in the wrong direction, to boot.
So, with that, we will look at a practice called, “mulabandha.” The translation for that is, “root lock.” The words are much stronger than the actual practice. Everything we do here is gentle. Gentle persuasion, you could say. We want to gently coax our nervous system to a higher level of functioning. Not force it.
Mulabandha is simple to do. Yet, it will take some getting used to. Just about all of the advanced yoga practices we undertake have to go through a clunky stage, where it feels strange until we settle in with it. It is like that with most things in life we try for the first time. We have to get through the clunky stage with just about anything new. Remember how it was the first time you cranked up a computer? Talk about clunky.
With mulabandha, we sit in pranayama like we always do. As we do, we lightly flex our anal sphincter muscle and hold it. That is, lightly. It is barely beyond the intention into the physical sensation. What we want to do is develop the habit of holding this light flex of the anal sphincter throughout our pranayama session. At the same time, while we do this, we lightly flex and pull up above the flexed anal sphincter, through the pelvis, and into our lower belly. There will be little physical movement, just a little beyond the intention, just enough to create a physical habit with. Later on, just the slightest intention will be enough to send sexual energy flying upward. What we are doing now is beginning the development of a new sensitivity in the pelvic region. As discussed in earlier lessons, pranayama draws the prana up from the pelvis through a biological process having to do with the gentle restraint of oxygen in the body. We are now helping that rising prana with some direct stimulation, amplifying its upward flow.
Mulabandha is a physical maneuver that quickly becomes a habit. In the beginning, our attention will be drawn to the sexual sensations it produces. It will be distracting for a while. That is normal. The aroused sexual energy may want to go down as much as up at first. That is normal too. We just continue with our pranayama practice as always, easily favoring our spinal breathing. This brings the energy up and down in our spinal nerve. In time, we will feel pleasurable sensations higher up, and the event of sexual energy going down during pranayama will become a rarity, and, eventually, never. How much time? Days? Weeks? Months? It depends on the practitioner. It will happen with practice, and according to the unique course of purification occurring in the nervous system.
At times during pranayama we may notice that mulabandha becomes unflexed. That is okay. When we notice, we just easily reestablish that flexed intention and continue spinal breathing. The occasional releasing and reflexing is normal, and has another name, “asvini mudra.” We won’t deliberately do that now. It will happen of its own accord. In time, a very subtle undulation will naturally occur in the pelvic region, and above. Associated with it is much pleasure and inner luminosity. As sexual energy circulates up through the body, a new functioning arises on its own – a new biology. We are initiating it with these advanced yoga practices. Once it gets going, it is self-sustaining in the body both inside and outside of practices. This is how we come to experience continuous ecstasy.
The rising pleasure is good. It indicates the natural rise of the inner ecstatic biological functioning. We continue our practices as before, and we notice more and more pleasure coming up in them. That’s how it goes.
Practicing meditation after pranayama is as important as ever. During meditation, we don’t deliberately do any of the practices we are doing in pranayama. If we find ourselves in mulabandha in meditation, we don’t favor it or push it out. We just easily come back to the mantra. We want to keep our meditation as simple and pure as possible – just that simple procedure of using the mantra. You may notice a change in experiences in meditation as more ecstatic energy is naturally flowing through the body after pranayama. Ecstasy is just one more thing that can be happening during meditation, like thoughts, feelings and physical sensations. We just easily favor the mantra, let it refine and disappear over and over again. This will make the rising sexual essences all the more pleasurable in the subtle nervous system. Meditation will be all the more effective as pure bliss consciousness rises, and permeates and expands inside the ecstatic energies coursing through the nervous system. Extraordinary joy!
Now let’s go up to the other end of the spinal nerve, to the point between the eyebrows, and do something there. Believe it or not, this has to do with stimulating the rise of sexual energy too.
The guru is in you.