While we were discussing Bandhas in class the other day, I had my sudden slight epiphany moment in understanding the relationship between Bandhas and Chakras.
The bandhas, like the glandular system, coincides with the chakra system. I was curious why we could activate the bandhas for certain chakras but not others, and I do not think that this arrangement is mere coincidence. And this is what I realized:
Mula Bandha – For the Root Chakra
Uddiyana Bandha – For the Sacral Chakra and Solar Plexus
Jalandhara Bandha – For the Throat Chakra
But why only these 4 chakras? And my realization is:
These 4 chakras are about keeping the energy inwards, in the body. In short, these 4 chakras are concerned about our survival, our security, and our confidence, our voice.
The other 3 chakras (Heart, Brow and Crown) are about connection with other people, with our intuition, with the universe; the flow of energy is more outwards. We definitely do not want to lock or close these chakras.
And then I ask myself, so what about realizing this? What does it do for me? What I can do with this knowledge?
Practice the bandhas (related to the root, sacral, solar plexus and throat chakras) to enhance the energy within myself so that I can give more to others (heart, brow and crown chakras). It is the similar concept as “to do more for others, I must first sustain and feed myself”. For me I was quite blown away by this realization, suddenly the bandhas make a lot more sense to me; they are not simply just locks that we can engage for the body. Prior to this, I have always thought the function of the 3 bandhas (Mula, Uddiyana, Jalandhara) is a form of keeping the body healthy, especially seen in the Uddiyana Bandha to aid digestion and massage the organs.
But now, I start to see them in a slightly different light, and they have a function and a purpose in the overall scheme of things.
And last week, I had a very brief chat with Shree and he mentioned how the bandhas can be engaged during asana practice. For example in Downward Dog, we could engage the root lock and chin lock, and we feel the prana energy circulating in the upper body. Once again, I was quite blown away by this knowledge. I have never thought to practice the bandhas across all asana practice. I only had the knowledge of practicing Uddiyana Bandha when I practice forward bend, but now I’m starting to see how the bandhas can be integrated to all asana practice, which will have a direct effect on my energy body. I used to see bandhas as disparate arm in the practice, but now I am starting to piece things together. This has given an added dimension to my yoga practice.
There is much more to understand about the relationship between our energy body and our physical body. And I’m definitely very curious to know how all of these come together. I believe that we can heal ourselves, and to me, having the above realization is one of my first steps of putting the puzzle together, to gain a deeper understanding of our ourselves and our bodies.
200hrs YTTC March 2018