Uddiyana Bandha

Uddiyana BandhaUddiyana Bandha is the second of the inner lock in yoga. Uddiyana in Sanskrit means to ‘fly up’ or ‘rise up’. This suggests all your inner organs – the abdomen, the diaphragm and the stomach – moving up and rising toward your spine. In the abstract, it means moving your energy from your mula bandha upward.

To find Uddiyana Bandha, stand with feet hip distance apart. On an inhale, raise your arms by your ears and on exhale, through the mouth, fold and place your hands just above the knees. Without inhaling, straighten your arms and suction your stomach to your spine, concaving it up and back toward the back. Hold the pose as long as it comfortable before inhaling through your nose while straightening with arms again raised by your ears. Then exhale  through your nose to bring your arms down by your side.

Uddiyana Bandha massages the inner muscles of the lower back while it moves energy upward creating a feeling of lightness. This allows for lightness in movement and deeper twists. It aids in constipation and indigestion as it stimulates the digestive juices, increases your metabolic rate and tone those problematic abdominal muscles.

For yoga supplies to help with your practice, visit www.barefootyoga.com!

Posted under Styles of Yoga

This post was written by Grace on July 23, 2014

Demystifying Mula Bandha

 

Mula Bandha

Mula in Sanskrit means ‘root’, ‘base’, ‘foundation’, ‘beginning’, ‘origin.’ Bandha means ‘catching hold of’, ‘fetter’, ‘bondage.’ Mula Bandha, or root lock, is one of four bandhas mentioned in the Hatha Yoga Pradiprika and the Gheranda Samhita. The root refers to the pelvic floor or more precisely, the perineum. It is not the muscle that is the sphincter or those you use to hold your bladder. It is in between these two muscles.

Mula bandha allows us to lock the prana or life-giving breath in our body and move it up our central system. Mastering the locks allows us to the master of our practice in our physical body as well as our inner mind. Mula bandha aids is holding poses for long periods of time, transitioning to new asanas, steady concentration, controlled breath and a calm and clear mind.You are advised to hold mula bandha throughout your practice and that might be challenging at first but with practice, it will get easier.

To activate Mula Bandha, exhale and engage the pelvic floor. You might contract the muscles around the anus and genitals at first, but try to isolate the muscles between those 2 areas. You want to draw up the perineum and to the back of your spine. Do not hold your breath.

Engaging Mula Bandha forces your energy to flow up and not down and out. This gives you a ‘light’ feeling, making your limbs limber and thus lighter on your mat. This also helps you from fatiguing during long holds on poses. Mula Bandha stimulates the pelvic area, genitalia, the endocrine and excretory systems and relieves depression and constipation.

For yoga supplies to help with your practice, visit www.barefootyoga.com!

Posted under Health and Fitness, Styles of Yoga

This post was written by Grace on July 21, 2014

5 Yoga Questions You Never Knew the Answer to – Until Now!

Thought you knew it all about yoga? Think again! Take a look at the list below to find out five things that may surprise you!

1. What is the ultimate “goal” of yoga?

Chitta Vritti Nirodhah

The ultimate goal of yoga is simple but powerful: Chitta Vritti Nirodhah – Cessation of the fluctuations of the mind. This Sutra conveys the essence of the science of yoga, which is: “if you can control the fluctuations of the mind you will experience yoga”.

2. Wait one minute! What’s a Sutra?

Sanskrit verse from Bhagavad Gita

The word sutra is the Sanskrit term for a rule or saying in Sanskrit literature, and translates literally to what sews or threads things together. A comparable way to relate it to our own modern day American culture is thinking of commonly used, sensible sayings such as “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. Granted, the Citta Vritti Nirodhah sutra is a bit more refined than that.

3. Who is Patajnali? I’ve heard that name mentioned a few times since beginning my practice, but I don’t know who they are!

Patanjali

Patanjali is an Indian sage known by many as ‘the father of Yoga’. He is the creator of The Yoga Sutras, a collection of 196 sutras created around 400 CE from original and ancient texts that make up the foundation of Ashtanga Yoga that we know today.

4. As a yogi, I’ve heard the phrase “eight limbs” referred to many a time, in everything from studio names to casual conversation. What does “eight limbs” refer to?

The Eight Limbs of Yoga

Eight limbs refers to the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga, referenced in Patajnali’s Yoga Sutras. The word “Ashtanga” translates literally to mean “eight limbs”, their names being: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi.

5. One last thing: a couple people have told me they choose to not practice yoga on New or Full moons. Why is that?

Phases of the Moon

Good question! Some yogis prefer not to practice during a new or full moon because of the change in the tides. This change can directly affect the water in your body (as it does with the tides), and changes in the Moon can affect your emotional body. Because of the various effects of both Full (bringing things to their full state) and New (renewing, revision of thought) moons, some prefer to refrain from their practice on these days.

Thanks for reading!  We hope you enjoyed and learned from the facts above. For all your yoga needs, come visit us today at BarefootYoga.com!

Posted under Styles of Yoga

This post was written by Carolina on July 8, 2014