Saturday, September 19, 2009



Correct alignment of the body is crucial when practicing the dynamic yoga postures. The weight of your body must be distributed evenly and grounded in the floor. Checks and balances must be applied, so that the whole body is held in balance for each posture. It is important to sit and stand up straight at the beginning of each posture in Dynamic yoga. By extending the spine, you create more space between the vertebrae, allowing freedom of movement. To support the spine fully, you must engage all the muscles in your body, which you must teach to work in harmony with each other.


Bandha is a Sanskrit word that means "lock." By engaging a bandha during an asana, you are able to regulate the flow of prana, the life-force energy that moves through the body. I have focused on developing two of the three bandhas in this dynamic yoga series of poses: mula bandha and uddiyana bandha.
Mula means "root" in Sanskrit, and you engage mula bandha by contracting the perineum, which is located in front of the anus and behind the genitals. The contraction is established toward the end of an exhalation and should be maintained throughout the inhale. To start with, you may notice that you are engaging the entire area, including the anus, but with practice you will be able to refine the action and lift only the perineum.
The second bandha is called uddiyana, which means "flying upward."This lock is engaged by drawing in the abdominal wall (just a few inches below the navel and above the pubic bone). It is a very subtle drawing of the back of the navel to the spine, which allows your lower abdomen to remain soft and still. This lift is connected with the drawing up of the perineum and will also be most apparent at the end of an exhalation. You can practice both of these energy locks in the Downward Dog (Adho mukha svanasana) position in the Sun Salutation sequences. Notice that both mula bandha and uddiyana bandha connect with the breath. Have patience: the engagement of the bandhas takes years to master fully and you will learn to engage them only with practice.

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