The deeper you delve into yoga as a pedestrian yogi, you will run into some strange stuff. There are many topics that are difficult to understand at first. For example, why do teachers need to use the term anal mouth? And what the hell is a perennium? I learned more than I thought I ever would about these two terms the first time I attended a class that discussed Mula Bandha in detail.
For those of you who don’t know – Mula Bandha is the pulling up of the pelvic floor (Perennium). The lower abdomen muscles also lift up. By activating Mula Bandha (or “root lock” in some yoga circles) balance becomes easier and poses can be held longer. To engage Mula Bandha, however, one must also contract the anal mouth (eek!) and the genitals. I know – weird.
So here is how the Mula Bandha class went. We all gathered close to the teacher to watch her engage Mula Bandha on her back with her legs spread. We then all had to get on our backs and do it together. I am not ashamed to admit that this was the first time I was part of a group anal mouth contracting session. We were also told as a group to pull up our perrenium and close our vaginas (which was extremely awkward, because I’m a dude). But I tried as hard as I could not to laugh, and focused on closing my imaginary vagina.
After about 45 minutes of awkwardness, I started to realize that activating Mula Bandha was extremely helpful. It helped to lift taller in standing poses, and jump between poses much easier. Sure, it is awkward – but necessary to learn about if you are serious about your practice. Ask your teacher about it – but be prepared for awkward giggles.