I have literally been hearing about the importance of the bandhas for years. Every yoga class, every strength training core class, every pilates class, trainers talk about the bandha in lots of different ways: “engage your mula bandha,” “squeeze your pelvic floor – lifting it,” “hold that muscle like you’re stopping your pee!” I thought I got it. I mean, I technically knew how to do it. But, that was when I was standing still, on my feet, thinking about it. Not in the middle of an inversion…when I can hardly tell my bum from my shoulder.
In YTT, I have been pushing myself to new limits – utilizing muscles I never even knew I had – and trying to get into poses I never thought possible. The key principles are always the same – tuck the ribs, engage the core, tuck the tailbone and for God’s sake – squeeze that root lock! Now, my brain knows this – but the issue is trying to translate that to making my body do it whilst in extreme situations – like trying to pike up into a headstand. And, I think I’ve finally figured it out that it’s not a lack of core or quad strength. I’m just not effectively engaging the mula bandha!
It all came to me one morning in Adho Mukha Swanasana. Jessica said, “Pull your chest closer to your thighs with the mula and uddiyana bandha.” So, I did what she said, and boom! Back I went – much closer to the thighs. The power of the bandhas. That’s when I finally got it – this is what I need to engage in order to get those other poses done.
I am trying on a daily basis – but it takes time. Yoga is a process, and it’s not easy to try and engage so many parts when your brain and body is not used to it. But, it will happen. I just know it. And, I’ll be piking up like it’s nothing at all!