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Mula Bandha in TMS healing

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Colly, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. Colly

    Colly Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi all

    Just wondering if anyone out there has heard of or tried the Mula Bandha (root lock) yoga practice as part of their TMS healing?

    Going through a relpase recently I went on a crusade - as we all do - for new material and pulled out a book by Monte Hueftle called 'The master practice', in which he describes this practice being pivotal to his recovery.

    I gave it a go but to be honest didn't practice it as diligently as he suggested, but nevertheless found it very calming.

    I'd like to know if it has been used by others and if so if it has been useful. Also curious to know if any other fancy breathing techniques have been tried and tested like Pranayama. Cheers Colly
  2. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    Colly it is the lower most Chakra & from little of what I know Mula Bandha is used in Yoga & variations of it are used in Pilates, kegles, & Qi Gong. Mula is root or foundation & Bandha is lock & the idea is basically to lock those pelvic muscles & stabilise your core as you attempt to exercise so that you are grounded & supported.

    The action is similar to trying to stop yrself from peeing

    You can pretty much do this anywhere but when exercising it is important to keep that core stabilised for maximum benefit. You can also activate yr Core when you are meditating or doing your breathing exercises.

    It has many benefits.

    Pranayama is as you know is breathing. There r many types like deep belly, alternating nostril, Kapilbati, diaphramatic breathing & many more. You may want to read more to decide which is best for you. For meditating I usually do deep belly or alternating nostril as i find both quite calming.

    Like anything, i think long term commitment & daily practice is the key.

    Hope this helps.

    Last edited: Sep 16, 2014
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  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I've tried alternating nostril breathing and found it calming. I just didn't practice it regularly.
    I don't even do the deep belly or diaphramic breathing as I should, but just deep breathing always helps me.
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  4. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wow, Mala, that was such a helpful answer. I bought Monte's book a while back because I had seen so many people who had said it was helpful, and I've always wondered about the root lock. I think I was probably a little superficial, but it seemed weird, so I didn't try it. Perhaps that was my loss!

    I just checked, though, and there are lots of results for root lock in our search engine: http://search.tmswiki.org/results.html?q=root+lock
    Perhaps those might help as well. (I'm really glad you brought it up again as new people always have new perspectives)
    Colly and Mala like this.
  5. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Colly,
    Sorry to hear you are coping with a relapse.

    I don't know anything about Mula Bandha, but I have some experience with a few breathing techniques. When I first began my TMS healing, I read about the benefits of "belly breathing" for calming the autonomic nervous system on this wiki. So I started doing it at night when I laid down to go to sleep. I was very resistant to it, didn't like doing it, and found it difficult. However, it has become clear to me that the things I least want to do are usually the things I need to do the most. Eventually, it became easier, and I found myself using the technique whenever I noticed I was in an anxious ,"activated" state. Those states lessened in frequency and intensity, but since I was also using other TMS techniques at the time, I'm not certain how much of my improvement was due to the breathing.

    Then, a little over a year later I started doing Bikram Yoga regularly. The 90 minute Bikram routine starts with a pranayama breathing exercise and ends with another one. So I stopped the "belly breathing" exercise, and am only doing the Bikram yoga three times a week. I have benefited immensely from the yoga practice, but I don't know how much of the benefit is due to the breathing exercises or to the asanas. But it has definitely brought me improvement in the TMS equivalents I am still trying to address.

    But my "gut" tells me that how I breathe does have an impact on my TMS. I have always been a shallow breather and had poor aerobic fitness, even as a child even though I was very active and athletic. And the fact that these breathing exercises are hard for me to do, tell me it is something I need to pay attention to. So I would encourage you to give it a try, either separately or as part of a complete yoga practice.

    Wishing you the best, Colly.
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  6. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Whatever form of breathing one chooses to practice will always support our quest to heal. I've recently started the Presence Process which requires a different type of breathing, equal breaths in and out for a period of 15 minutes day and night. This morning when I was in the middle of my breathing practice, I noticed my mind drift to something in my recent daily life that is disturbing me. The author of TPP tells us to keep breathing no matter what. As soon as I had those disturbing thoughts my breathing stopped short to the point where I had to consciously instruct myself to resume breathing. I can well see how migraines and other symptoms begin and perpetuate if unconsciously I stop breathing every time I think of something that bothers me, a rather frequent occurrence at the moment!
  7. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    yb44 I have noticed the same thing more now that I do regular Pranayama.

    Doing any kind of breathing regularly will allow you to notice better when u are not breathing properly . So when something is disturbing & causes the breath to shorten or become erratic you are then more aware of that & you can correct yourself by going into the more mindful breathing.

    Just another thing I want to share. I love doing the alternate nose breathing technique. It requires more focus which means I tend to drift off less which means I am more mindful. Something I have noticed is when I am not feeling so well or am in some kind of pain ,one nostril will be more blocked than the other. For eg if the left side of my neck or shoulder hurts, then usually the left nostril will be blocked too.Its hard to breathe thru one blocked nostril but I perservere & after the session I usually notice that the nostril is less stuffy & the pain on that side is less.

    This corresponds with the Chinese idea of Qi & how blockages in the energy channels causes dis-ease. It could also correspond to Sarno's theory of less blood flow to a certain part of the body.

    That is why the practice of Yoga & Tai Qi & the philosophy & ideas behind them are so important in balancing energy in both the mind & body. In India, at some of the yoga academies & schools, students have to spend a lot of time on learning the breathing techniques before actually doing any postures.


    Last edited: Sep 17, 2014
    yb44, Ellen and Colly like this.
  8. Colly

    Colly Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank you all very much for all this feedback! So interesting to hear the common thread through the different responses.

    Forest I too felt compelled to buy the book and like you didn't sell my soul to the root lock practice. In his description of the Mula Bandha, Monte suggests breathing like "Darth Vader", but every time I tried this my mind drifted to Harrison Ford, and my breathing went out of whack LOL

    I sincerely believe that deep breathing is essential to healing, so might give it another go. It was deep breathing that got me out of a pickle in a broken lift recently. I feel I'm just scratching the surface on a simple yet so effective healing tool.

    I'm also excited to be starting my first Tai Chi course in a few weeks and might give Qigong a go too.

    Thanks you all again, and thanks for the well wishes Ellen - I'm almost there; my singing was my best recovery tool on this occasion! Ah ha… and that's deep breathing too! :)
    yb44 and Ellen like this.
  9. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hmmm...yes. It's not just the disturbing thoughts that interrupt the natural flow of breathing. :)
  10. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is really interesting. The yoga classes I have attended have all focused so heavily on the postures and it seemed like breathing was an afterthought.
    Mala likes this.
  11. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    It is very interesting what the word 'yoga' has come to mean nowadays. For many it is an exercise which involves certain poses (asanas) & breathing techniques (Pranayama).

    The truth is however that 'Yoga' is a way of life- a discipline. The word yoga comes from the word 'yuj' which means unite or join. The idea is that by practising yoga we can gain deeper understanding of the 'self' thru the union of our mind, body & soul. It is a constant process of finding yourself through knowledge, action, devotion, meditation,exercise, service & non violence. There are many types of Yoga.

    A Yogi would have been an enlightened soul that ppl would then seek out as their guide or guru.
    The yogis if they wanted to would then choose their students & teach them what they had learned.

    Like most things Yoga has evolved & changed over the years but the fundamentals I think are the same. It is a tool for individuals -to help people physically and mentally face the challenges of life with awareness & compassion.

    So yes the breathing & the asanas are both important tools.


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  12. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I've heard yoga described as a "moving meditation", and that is how I approach it. When attempting a difficult asana or breathing exercise, all of my attention must be focused on the body, so it is very effective at stopping my mental chatter.

    Thanks for all your good information in this thread, @Mala
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  13. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello All,

    Does anyone know of any guided practices which are available on line, i'm keen to incorporate this into my daily plan.

    Many thanks,
  14. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Mike, I like the yoga exercises of Scott Cole. He has some on Youtube.
    Forest likes this.
  15. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    Mike, I know you aksed for guided online practices. There is so much online for different types of yoga & for various levels that i find i get too distracted so I really can't help there.

    I would however like to recommend a book which I think is the best yoga book & perhaps the only one u will ever need. It is called 'Light on Yoga' by BKS Iyengar, one of the most famous Yoga teachers ever. This is my yoga bible.

    It is quite a thick book. The first 40 pages or so are all about what Yoga is which I think is important for successful yoga practice. He then goes into the different poses, how to do them & their benefits. They are all illustrated very well & u pick & choose at yr own pace.

    Since I bought this book I have had no need for anything else, it is that thorough.

    Hope this helps.

    mike2014, Ellen and Forest like this.
  16. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks for the book recommendation, @Mala ! I was just thinking that I was ready to study yoga more in depth and wondering what would be the right book.
    Mala likes this.
  17. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    This is the book @Ellen . You can read more about it on Amazon.

    Mala Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 6.35.00 PM.png
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  18. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks Walt, thanks Mala. i'll be sure to buy it, I was just curious if there are any exercises that may be useful for someone who is immobile, I have two bad knees and have lost some flexibility and ability to move, due to swelling. So confined to my bed, is there anything within the book that may be suitable for use of my upper body? thanks again and sorry to be a bother. Best regards, Mike
  19. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I, too, would like some yoga exercises I can do in bed.
    I have been doing some leg lifts but need to do more and be more consistent about them,
    to strengthen leg and back muscles.

    I'll get a copy of Light on Yoga and thank you, Mala, for the recommendation.
    Mala likes this.
  20. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I just did a google search for "yoga in bed" and found some great links with examples and pictures
    on how to spend a few minutes doing yoga in bed before getting out of it in the morning.
    Mala likes this.

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