Sunday, 16 September 2012

"Anal breathing"...breathing in the back body

I seem to be experiencing a period in my practice where every time I get on the mat I discover something new. I'm loving it. However, I'm kinda dreading the winter coming, the dark nights and mornings, the stiff body and well, yes, the stiff mind...

But for the meantime, it's still sunny here, warmish and I'll make the most of it.

So I read a blog post somewhere recently about anal breathing - sorry, I cannot remember for the life of me whose it was. Someone also mentioned Mark Darby mentions breathing through 'the anal mouth', which sounds hideous but what other anal-ogies (excuse the pun!) could one create?!! So yesterday I tried it.

For a moment I thought I'd found my MULA BANDHA!! Yes, the experience was that intense and powerful and changed my practice to an unbelievable degree. Now, a few months back I mentioned sitting in baddha konasana and having some kind of weird experience, albeit a nice one. Something shifted in my spine. I thought I'd worked out that this posture required ashmini mudra but I now I think it's this anal breathing thing. Ashwini mudra is the contraction of the anal sphincter, the outer section, but this is the contraction and pulling up of the area about 5 centimetres up from the anus, probably at the joint between the coccyx and the sacrum. 

I took my awareness and my breath to this area. When I inhaled I inhaled both through my nostrils and through my anus drawing up the anal breath through the contraction of this area. Inside it's like contraction of the top of the cervix and this area of the anal passage, bring them together, it's quite amazing. The benefits? FORWARD BENDS were the deepest I've ever experienced. I literally had my face on the floor, past me knees in all seated forward bends. I was using the anal breath to open and lengthen out of the sacra-iliac joint, breathing into the back of the body to release tension. I literally cannot wait to try it again today. It felt soooo good. 

Have I found my mula bandha?!!


  1. Hello Micqui,
    that blog post about anal breathing was written by me :-) Here's the post:

    And it was Erica from Ecstatic Adventures of the Exuberant Bodhisattva who quoted Mark Darby on breathing through the anal mouth.

    Congratulations on, ahem, finding your anal mouth and discovering your anal breath! It's definitely a breakthrough. And yes, based on my rather limited experience, I'm pretty sure you have found Mula Bandha :-) But as a few people have pointed out in several places (among them David Garrigues and Thad Haas), mula bandha is a very elusive thing. Very often, just when you think you have "got it", you discover another deeper layer. And then you will probably need to use a different image from breathing through your anus to access mula bandha. But for now at least, I would say that you have found it :-)

  2. Hooray! Thanks Nobel, your post has given me hope! I know the old adage of 'if you think you've found mula bandha it probably isn't it'... did that come from Matthew Sweeney? Can't remember... But it takes another breath deeper than I ever thought possible :)

  3. Hi Micqui. I had just seen something in passing the other day about anal breathing and wrote it off as some kind of joke. Then I came across your post about it. I will need to try and go back and find it now to see what it was about. It was really interesting to read how it changed how deep you were able to enter into an asana.

    BTW, I really get a lot from your posts about those little things that can make a difference to your practice. Thanks for sharing and keep them coming.

    Cheers, Dale.

  4. Hi there, I am trying to learn something called Anal Breathing and am wondering if it is the same Anal Breathing as here. What I am trying to learn has to do with a man called Dr. Lin. Is this the same Anal Breathing? Thanks.