On the first week of YTT, we were introduced to the three main energetic locks, or
‘bandhas’, that run along a person’s spinal column. I had heard of the term ‘bandha’
before, mentioned casually during a yoga class in a commercial studio. While I
vaguely understood what the teacher was asking us to do physically, I never
practiced it again because it was unclear what the benefits would be. It seemed like
a very abstract concept.
Of the three main bandhas (Mula, Uddiyana and Jalandhara) we were taught during
Theory, I was most interested in the Mula bandha.
Even as a little girl, my late mother used to warn me against carrying anything too
heavy (baby cousin included) because, as she put bluntly, "Your womb might fall
out". A terrifying thing to tell a prepubescent child, but I kept it in mind for the most
part growing up.
For context, my mother had a very weak pelvic floor after the birth of two daughters
and several major operations to remove gigantic fibroids (one almost the size of a
newborn). She simply was afraid that it would happen to me, too.
Fast forward to 2019 when I had my son; I was so fearful of any downward motion
(passing urine or any bowel movement) in the days after giving birth because I was
certain my womb would collapse on itself if I tried. This led to a pretty sedentary
recovery, opting not to engage in strenuous activity after birth for fear of a uterine
prolapse. Months passed and I eventually joined a gym and tried HIIT again. I was
fine for the most part, but I almost peed myself doing jumping jacks!
Now, relearning how to engage Mula bandha to strengthen my pelvic floor is a
massive thing for me, right up there with nailing tricky arm balances. Besides the
physical appearance of the body, I want to ensure that everything else holds up
inside as well. I know the fear of losing control over your body postpartum or even
any sense of ownership over your body as you become a life-sustaining, milk-making
machine. I hope that with yoga, learning to engage my own Mula bandha
consistently and maintaining the strength and health of my pelvic floor, I will
eventually be able to change that experience for other women who may be feeling
the same way I did postpartum.
200HR YTT May’21 Weekday