Capturing prana

Modern Ayurveda

Ayurveda the Science of Life

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The Serpent Power

When kundalini shakti is awakened and arises from her sleep, she is the vehicle for the expansion of consciousness, enabling the individual to fully develop his innate potential and rise beyond the mundane realm of birth and death to the level of divinity.

Chela Buddhananda.

Raising Mula Bandha

Mula bandha is the force or energy created by lifting the pelvic floor and controlling the breath. It is the root lock and calls the fire within that causes everything to come alive, to move. Mula bandha increases flexibility and stimulates heat. By contracting the perineum and drawing the energy up from the base of the spine, one can intensify and direct the life energy, cultivating a sense of heightened awareness and increasing vitality.

Mula bandha ignites the flame of kundalini (cosmic energy), the serpent power. By bringing awareness to the core of the body, mula bandha helps prevent injury. It guides you to move from your center, grounding you so you can become light and fluid in your yoga practice.

Practice

Mula bandha

1. Sit in a comfortable meditative pose, preferably siddhasana (with one foot into root chakra, see diagram). Close the eyes, make sure the body is completely relaxed and the spine is erect. For men, the area just inside the perineum has to be contracted, so it is best to concentrate on this area for a few minutes. Women should concentrate on the cervix, as it is the cervix and vaginal muscles which have to be contracted. After a few minutes of concentration, start to gradually contract and release the muscles of the perineum/cervix. Contraction should last for a few seconds. Keep the breath normal. Contract, release twenty-five times.

2. Prepare as above. Contract the muscles of the perineum/cervix and hold. Hold the contraction for sixty seconds, then release. Practice five times.

3. Start off with a gentle or partial contraction. Contract just a little and hold without releasing. Then contract a little more. Continue like this, gradually increasing the tension and contraction ten times until full contraction is reached. Hold the full contraction for sixty seconds and try to breathe normally.

4. Notice what happens when you activate mula bandha. Is it possible to contract and lift the pelvic floor and breath at the same time? Try it.

5. Take about a 30 minute period during your day and try to maintain mula bandha for the full half hour. How many times did you come out of mula bandha?

Contemplating your navel

The solar plexus is located just back of the pit of the stomach on either side of the spinal column. The name "solar" is well bestowed upon this major nerve plexus, as it radiates energy to all parts of the body. According to the yogic texts it is the great storehouse of prana, the manipura chakra.

Other Eastern cultures link it to the hara, dan tien, center of chi or ki. It's the center of our being from the umbilical cord to adulthood. It's the place where you get that gut feeling, the intuitive sense. We've got to keep it healthy, tuned in and alive.

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