Grischa Galavasana
Ashtanga Yoga,  Patanjali,  Philosophy,  Shankaracharya

mūlabandha – the mystical experience

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As beginners we may have been told to “squeeze the anus” or “tone the pelvic floor” for “doing mūlabandha”. Maybe this helped us to connect with the center of the body and to make difficult postures a little easier. On the next level we may have realized that mūlabandha is either everywhere or nowhere. But we only get closer to the truth when we realize, that the difference between a beginner or advanced practice is not physical at all.

“yanmūlaṁ sarvabhutānāṁ yanmūlaṁ cittabandhanam |
mūlabandhaḥ sadā sevyo yogyo’sau rājayoginām ||”
In which are rooted all beings?
In which is rooted arrested consciousness (citta)?
Mūlabandha should always be served and attended by rāja (royal) yogins.
Aparokṣānubhuti, Śrī Adi Śaṅkara (ca. 500-800 CE)

For Śaṅkaracarya, mūlabandha was nothing less than the complete binding of the citta (cittabandha). It is meant to create the fulfillment of Yoga practice according to Patañjali. It is entirely disconnected from the name, form, or difficulty of your posture. In this state we cannot possibly _know_ what mūlabandha is, because our mind is not in the mode of naming and categorizing when it is present. Only the ignorant think they know. The wise always see the difference between reality and what we think about it (viveka khyātiḥ).

Just like samādhi, mūlabandha has to regarded as a vibhūti, or a deity. You cannot “do” them. Mūlabandha reveals itself as the result of correct practice or practice was not correct. We can serve the deity and dedicate all our attention to it. But you can’t drag a deity into the temple of your body. She appears when the temple and all rituals have been perfected, when all attachment, pride, your entire ego structure have been resolved. She appears in form of nirodha, absolute stillness of the mind. You realize that the root of all beings is identical with consciousness, your true self. Then the constructed illusion of separation between you and the world spontaneously disappears. This is the royal path of Yoga.

Learn more about the philosophical background and the highly practical implications for your practice at grischa’s retreats and teacher intensives:

Ashtanga Retreat and Teachers Intensive 23 - 30 May 2021

Ashtanga Retreat and Teachers Intensive 23 - 30 May 2021

Ashtanga Retreat and Teachers Intensive 23 - 30 May 2021 Ashtanga Intensive for enthusiasts Every morning begins with with an intense Pranayama and Mysore Style class. In the workshop sessions we analyze all postures of the primary series in...