2 WORDS YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Mulabandha and Guagua
Yoga is an art of learning how to efficiently manage the prana we input and output in each day or moment. This balance is brought down on a minimal level to inhale and exhale. The simple practice of mindful, even breathing can be enough to feel more present and aware. Two of the most powerful demonstrations of efficiency I’ve ever known or the Mulabandha and Guagua. Here I go:
· MULABANDHA (moo-la-bahn-dah) – is the practice of engaging the pelvic floor to both strengthen the core and lift energy up the spine. There are books written on this topic and it takes years to integrate this into your lifelong practice. Be patient. Maybe read a book. Find an amazing teacher. Do mulabandha. How? Imagine you have to go to the bathroom (#1 + #2), now imagine you are in the car and there is no stopping for ten minutes so you have to “hold it in”. That’s mulabandha! I believe incorporating this into my asana practice and the way I carry my posture through the day has transformed me physically, mentally and spiritually. It is the most simple and effective practice I’ve found yet. Except for maybe the…
· GUAGUA (gwah-gwah) – a term for a local bus with a fixed route which is used not only in the Caribbean but also the Canary Islands and Spain. In the DR these are minivans with 4 rows of seats that honk their horn as they drive down the road. The door man usually slams the side of roof of the van to indicate STOP or GO and slides the door, directs people where to sit and handles most of the money. You will never know efficiency until you have ridden in one of these vehicles. It is a serious trip. I have seen 4 people in front in addition to the driver and easily 20 more squeezed in the main 3 rows. The stops are quick, the money is simple, the priority is getting people where they need to be. If we could prioritize energetically throughout the day to be fully present at each moment it is possible we could maximize our potential, again physically, mentally and spiritually.
I’m not sure if efficiency is relevant in anyone else’s life, but this is a lesson I am learning daily. Stay focused, do the work, have fun.
“That’s all I have to say about that.” -Forrest Gump