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  • Writer's pictureChristina V. Mills

Mula Bandha

Photo by Tim Feldmann of Christina Mills in Urdhva Padmasana

Mula bandha is one of the bandhas or energy locks in the body that we can use to control the flow of prana or energy in, out, and throughout the body. Mula bandha is root lock and is practiced by engaging the pelvic floor near the tailbone.

At first, mula bandha may be difficult to isolate, and many find it impossible to differentiate from uddiyana bandha, located in the front of the pelvic floor and in the inside lower belly below the navel. Some may also find the muscles of the glutes clenching up, but mula bandha is not a gross clenching of the external gluteal muscles at all - it is much more subtle than that, and the glutes should stay relaxed.

Consider the sensation of having to go to the bathroom but holding it, lifting up in the area around the anus and rectum. It should feel like a subtle lifting and supportive feeling. In time and with practice, it is possible to isolate and engage mula bandha at any time.

Mula bandha is practiced in combination with uddiyana bandha during pranayama to prevent the loss of energy and during physical asana practice to support the core and to help find the lift needed for jump throughs, arm balances, and handstands.


Hatha Yoga Pradipika I 44-49

These 4 Asanas are the Quintessence

I.44 Padmasana - Place the right food on the left thigh and the left foot on the right thigh, crossing the hands behind the back holding the big toes. Place the shin on the chest and gaze at the tip of the nose. Padmasana destroys disease in those with self-restraint.

45 Another way to practice Padmasana - Place both feet soles up on opposite thighs with both palms facing upward on the thighs.

46 Gaze at the tip of the nose, placing the tongue at the roof of the mouth. Place the chin on the chest and engage mula bandha.

47 Padmasana destroys all diseases though it is difficult for most people to attain and can only be attained by the wise.

48 Taking padmasana, place one palm over the other with the chin to the chest. Meditate on God while repeatedly drawing the prana upward and downward. The power of kundalini brings unparalleled insight.

49 By sitting in padmasana and steadying the breath through the nadis, the yogi attains freedom. Of this, there is no doubt.

Asana Practice

You will also find mula bandha, naturally practiced during certain asanas to direct the flow of energy.

Padmasana - Lotus

Urdhva Padmasana - Upside Down Lotus

Janu Sirsasana B - Head to Knee Pose, sitting on the Heel

Malasana - Garland Pose

Adho Mukha Svanasana - Downward Facing Dog

Utplutih - Lift up!


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