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The Pelvic Floor: Mula Bandha and Root and Sacral Chakra

Remember that your wonderful little pelvic floor has 26 muscles. Whether you were born with penis or vagina, your pelvic floor muscles are the same. They live at the base of your pelvis, underneath your pelvic bone, and help support your hips, spine, back, and abdomen. These 26 muscles run parallel to your diaphragm muscles, creating a loop system which is your core canister.

Medical image core canister pelvic floor muscles connect in circle to spine and abdomen to diaphragm

CONNECTING WITH YOUR PHYSICAL BODY

The bandhas are a yoga practice working to shift, move, and harness energy. Mula Bandha (or Root Lock) is a yoga practice which targets the root of your pelvic floor muscle connection, your perineum. This practice is actually activating those 26 pelvic floor muscles!

 

Many who root lock are just pulling up their pelvic floor in a contraction, like trying to hold in pee, when in fact they should work from the top of our core canister, down. If we are only engaging our pelvic floor for stability, instead of also incorporating our diaphragm and hips equally, it creates an imbalance in the system.

To move safely through yoga postures we need dynamic movement not only in our pelvic floor, but our entire core canister. Move with your breath!

LEVELS OF BANDHA ACTIVATION

As you move into your yoga posture, I want you to engage your pelvic floor in the proper way. Not firm or static, think of it more as an elevator which moves up and down with your breath.

The next time you move through your practice, think about how much stability that pose demands from you. Chair or Warrior Pose might require a stronger pelvic floor contraction, whereas Mountain Pose would require less.

CONNECTING WITH YOUR ENERGETIC BODY

Our energy system, or chakras, connect directly to the pelvic floor! Your coccyx – the lower 3 vertebrae of our spine – is where many of your pelvic floor muscles attach. This is the location of our root chakra. The sacral chakra lives by our sacrum. Just below our navel, by our sexual organs and our organs of elimination and digestion.

ROOT CHAKRA

The root chakra governs our physical energy, specifically our safety with ourselves and others. It is associated with our fight, flight, or freeze responses. If someone grew up struggling to have their basic needs met, it can require a lot of attention to maintain our flow of energy and prana.

SACRAL CHAKRA

The sacral chakra is all about discovery! Our sexual energy stems from here, but we have to feel safe in order to drive that sexual power. The sacral chakra is very much tied to our root chakra.

 

As we look at these two lower chakras and how they connect to our anatomy, we can see how important and integral they are to the system as a whole. We need safety in order to have a good base, so we can work on the discovery of sensuality.

PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS TO MOVE PRANA THROUGHOUT THE BODY

Combine Cat:Cow with Diaphragmatic Breathing techniques to create a healthy cycle of prana through your whole system! Engage your entire core canister throughout your yoga practices.

Extra References

VIDEO: Happy Hour with Savannah

VIDEO: Grounding Exercise

Exploring Your Pelvic Floor and it’s Functions

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