Sunday, 30 September 2012

Mula bandha - a little death...

Just came across a wonderful podcast from Michael Stone on samskaras and bodhisattva vow. I actually think I'm in love with him :) See the link below for the full talk if you have a spare hour.

So continuing the theme of mula bandha, Michael states that the practice of mula bandha is for your chitta (your attention span) to bond with your exhaling pattern (your apana). Thus you bond your attention span to the feeling of finishing your exhalation. He says that mula bandha is psychological as much as it is physical. When you really bring your attention to the end of the exhale, to the feeling of tone of the end of the exhale, you can't be thinking, you can't be caught up in a story, so that story teller goes through a bit of a death. Every time you finish your exhale you 'wring out' the storyteller. Apparently Pattabhi Jois used to say 'little bit dying' when he spoke of mula bandha. I love this.

So the way Michael sees the practice of mula bandha is exactly how one should live their life. Giving true attention to the end of the exhalation, to death,  to the scariest place you could think of, instead of phrenetically holding on to one's inhalation, our comfortable places, to our false forms of nourishment.

He says that the practice of mula bandha is the practice of kundalini yoga and that kundalini is a metaphor for 'arriving in your life'. I know what I'll be meditating on this week :) (And no, it's not Michael Stone!!)


  1. an interesting connection....."le petit mort", the little death has a different connotation in french, although related to the muladhara chakra nonetheless... :)
    setting my silliness aside, i will definitely be focusing more on that potent emptiness at the root of the exhalation as I practice tomorrow...

    1. Hi Frances! But I don't think it does have a different connotation, not THAT different anyway. There is the idea that you are no closer to god/your true self/pure consciousness, than at the point of orgasm, so I guess that it is that same point at the end of the exhalation?! Thanks for taking the time to comment, appreciated :)

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  2. It is interesting to know that Guruji and BKS Iyengar in "light on pranayama" stress on the end of breath.

    I will listen to this one as i head back home from office today :-)
    Thank you for the pointer.