Definition - What does Mula mean?
Mula is a Sanskrit term meaning “root,” “base” or “foundation." In yoga, mula is the first of the bandhas (energy locks) that help yogis to manage the energy within their bodies when practicing yoga. It's associated with the muladhara (root) chakra.
Mula bandha, also known as the "root lock," is performed via contraction of the muscles surrounding the perineum in men and the base of the cervix in women. It's reported to have a wide range of physical, mental and energetic benefits.
Yogapedia explains Mula
For beginners, it can take some practice to isolate the muscles needed to activate mula bandha, and it's often suggested that mula bandha be learned under the guidance of a teacher. It should first be attempted on the retention of breath at the end of an inhalation. Although mula bandha can be performed throughout a yoga practice, it can be difficult to feel it fully while in an asana. So, it's recommended that it's initially practiced in a seated meditation posture.
The benefits of mula bandha can be experienced on several levels:
- Physical: Builds core strength, protecting the lower back and allowing the body to hold postures for longer periods of time.
- Mental: Improves mental clarity and helps concentration.
- Energetic: Increases energy and vitality by encouraging energy to flow upwards from the base of the spine.