Yogic science includes a vast array of exercises in addition to Pranayama and Kundalini techniques about which you may have heard. This article begins a series that offers a chakra by chakra routine for holistic development. These techniques have been developed from the philosophies and methodologies of several approaches including Vipassana meditation, Pranayama, Kundalini and Taiji.
Exercising The Root Chakra
Your root chakra is located at the base of your spine. This chakra can be exercised using a bandha, which refers to the locking of a chakra. Locking chakras helps to contain the flow of energy and increase your potential for channeling Reiki. Be careful to practice these techniques gradually, never pushing yourself beyond your limits. Seek the advice of a skilled Yoga teacher for further guidance and more specific explanation of the muscles involved.
To employ mula bandha, sit in the lotus position and place one of your heels at your perineum, the space between your anus and genitals. Mula bandha is a contraction of the perineum muscles. Pull up on your perineum as if you were stopping the flow of urination. This movement locks your root chakra and prevents energy from flowing back into the earth. While pulling up on the muscles, imagine drawing energy up from the root chakra and sending it upwards towards your crown.
Mula bandha focuses on contraction of the perineum muscles that control urination. It’s easy to confuse mula bandha with a closely related technique called aswini mudra. Aswini mudra focuses on contraction of the anal muscles, an exercise that is helpful for treating hemorrhoids. To distinguish the two muscles, sit with your heel on your perineum and alternate contractions between your anus and perineum. Once you have properly distinguished the perineum muscle, practice contracting it for one minute at a time. Then, relax for a moment and contract it again. Continue practicing mula bandha for 5 to 10 minutes.
Throughout your practice, keep your eyes closed and be mindful of your breathing. Observe the flow of energy as you practice. If you proceed to become a Reiki Master, this bandha will serve you well when conducting Reiki attunements. Mula bandha is also used in the micro-cosmic orbit of Taiji, and will be explained in a forthcoming article.
You can practice mula bandha by itself, during Reiki self healing sessions, as part of your yoga practice or as part of your meditation practice.