The root lock, or Mula Bandha, is defined by B.K.S. Iyengar as “a posture where the body from the anus to the navel is contracted and lifted up and towards the spine.”
This technique is used in both asana and pranayama, as well as in meditation. You have to consider the root lock in terms of energy rather than physical practice.
The energy system starts at your base or root. It runs up the spinal column until it reaches your skull. Using your bands, you can control energy flow within yourself. The root lock has a profound effect on many body systems and inner energy.
How to activate your Root Lock
In many yoga classes, the cue “now activate your root lock” does not appear very often. This term is confusing to many yogis regardless of their level of practice. Find your root lock as the first step. It would be best if you found it, then contract and relax in that area. You can find the lock at the base of the pelvic floor.
Yoga practitioners who are just beginning their journey with this lock can start by working on a broad area and then, as they gain experience, move towards a more focused one. The lock is difficult to pinpoint, so it is best to start with the anal region.
Start by contracting all of the muscles in your lower back. Sit down, breathe in, and contract, then relax for a moment. Once you feel comfortable with this, try holding the muscles for longer. This is something you should do every day.
After you’ve mastered the tensing of all root muscles, your focus will be on isolating independent muscles and contracting them. You can start by identifying and separating muscles using your heel or a tennis ball. By applying pressure to the perineum, you can begin to identify and isolate the muscles in the area.
By applying full Mula Bandha, you only contract the innermost layer. This is achieved by gently but deeply lifting or pulling the diaphragm of the pelvis. Resting the surface muscles keeps them relaxed.
Why activate your Root Lock?
This close-up approach to the muscles helps integrate the mind-body connection. These locks will transform your practice, adding stability to poses and preventing energy leakage during meditation.
You will need patience to learn how to control these locks, but it is worth the effort because you can also manage your life force energy by controlling these locks.
When you can control and contain the life within you, you will no longer be looking for happiness or enjoyment elsewhere. You will finally realize that everything you need is already inside.