WHAT THE FOOF ARE ‘BANDHAS?’
If you’ve never practised yoga before, these might be foreign terms to you. The ‘bandhas’ are difficult to explain in words (and they’re not easy to teach either), but these two techniques are essential to start practising postpartum!
Mula bandha is essentially engaging (or lifting) your pelvic floor, and Uddiyana Bandha is essentially engaging you midsection abdominals (pulling the navel gently back and up.) Don’t rush or force the bandhas, take it gently and be aware of any discomfort. If you experience any pain, stop immediately.
The bandhas are a great place to start post natally. Just spend some time trying to feel these two “locks,” or bandhas. Both areas (pelvic floor and abdominals) are weakened during pregnancy and birth and by starting to engage the bandhas, we can reconnect with these areas of our body, so important for our overall health, wellness and physical integrity.
WHEN SHOULD I PRACTISE THE BANDHAS?
You can practise engaging the bandhas while reading a book, watching TV or driving—basically, at any time. When you practise your Mother Salutations, try to engage both bandhas throughout the flow. If you forget, don’t panic, just re-engage them when you remember to do so When we engage the bandhas, we immediately stand taller and (bonus) our abs look more toned!
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BANDHAS?
Learning to engage the bandhas helps aid post-natal healing. This is true for women who have had a vaginal birth or a C-section. Engaging the bandhas throughout the Mother Salutations energizes and strengthens the BAP’s (back, abdomen and pelvic floor,) but the great news is we can aim to become aware of the bandhas at all times!
Post-natal back pain is often caused by a combination of an over-stressed or weakened pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. This discomfort can be made worse by things like picking baby up incorrectly, changing nappies and breastfeeding in awkward positions. If we use the bandhas to become aware of our movements, we can minimize discomfort and any further damage. Hoorah! The Bandhas help you to control and improve the function of your body’s internal organs and systems. We feel more balanced, digestion is regulated and our reproductive and nervous systems are re-energized.