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 Mulabandha - Flexing Anal Sphincter or Perineum?
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elderberry

USA
30 Posts

Posted - May 25 2024 :  5:22:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Hello everyone!

I have some confusion around how to correctly perform mulabandha, and would love some clarification.

Prior to AYP, I was familiar with mulabandha. However, upon first learning mulabandha, I was taught to gently flex the perineum or the "PC Muscles" (the muscles we use to stop the flow or urine). This is how I have performed mulabandha during my SBP for the last year or so.

However, upon re-reading Lesson 55 - Mulabandha Yogani writes "we lightly flex our anal sphincter muscle and hold it".

This leads me to believe I may have been performing mulabandha somewhat incorrectly this whole time.

Is the goal of mulabandha to flex the perineum/PC muscles, or to flex the anal sphincter?

Christi

United Kingdom
4414 Posts

Posted - May 25 2024 :  10:10:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi elderberry,

Mulabandha is taught differently in different schools of yoga. In AYP it is taught to gently contract the anal sphincter muscle and the muscles above that going up towards the belly. This has the advantage that it is possible to sit in siddhasana with the heel at the perineum (the soft area of flesh between the genitalia and the anus) and practice mulabandha at the same time, with the muscles that are being pressed by the heel being relaxed. Siddhasana is more effective if the muscles that are pressed by the heel are fully relaxed.

The urinary sphincter muscle is not involved at all in AYP mulabandha, unless the lock is coming on automatically and that muscle becomes activated as a part of that.
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elderberry

USA
30 Posts

Posted - May 26 2024 :  4:35:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Christi! That clears things up. Anal sphincter mulabandha it is.

However this is the first I am hearing of flexing the "muscles above that going up towards the belly".
I certainly don't think I've been doing that as part of my mulabandha practice. Is this mentioned somewhere in the core lessons? I'd love to read more about this.
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Christi

United Kingdom
4414 Posts

Posted - May 26 2024 :  4:50:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi elderberry,

It is in lesson 55 in the paragraph that starts ?with mulabandha, we sit in pranayama as we usually do??.

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