Moola Bandha: The Master Key

Mandala of the Mooladhara Chakra. You can imagine your coccyx, pubic bone and two sitting-bones as being the four petals of this mandala.

Moola Bandha (or Mula Bandha) is a yoga technique whereby the subtle energy at the pelvic floor is activated, condensed, and then drawn upward within the core of the subtle body, along the front of the spine.

The physical/energetic space at the base of the spine, in front of the tailbone, is known in Taoist Yoga as the Golden Urn, and in the Tibetan tradition as Snow Mountain. In Hindu yoga traditions, this is considered to be the home of Kundalini – a potent energy that lies dormant, until awakened by yoga practice. The Snow Mountain visualization practice can be an excellent support for gently awakening this energy. Another technique for arousing this powerful energy is what is known as Moola Bandha (also spelled Mula Bandha).

Muladhara Chakra = The Location Of Moola Bandha

“Moola” here refers to the Muladhara or root Chakra – located at the root of our spine, in the perineum. Hui Yin – the first point on the Conception Vessel – is the equivalent, in the acupuncture system, of the Muladhara Chakra. 

What Is A Bandha?

“Bandha” is a Sanskrit term often translated as “lock.” This signifies a gathering and channeling of life-force energy, at certain locations within the subtle body. What works for me is to think of the Bandhas as the kind of “lock” that a ship goes through, when passing from one level of water to the next. The water within the lock is the subtle energy which is gathered and activated at the pelvic floor. The ship is our attention -- i.e. our felt experience of this energy. In Mool Bandha, we feel this energy being gently condensed and then rising -- like the water in a lock.

It's important to understand that Moola Bandha is primarily an energetic/psychic (rather than a physical) process. When we’re first learning the practice, however, it’s very useful to begin with a physical movement that can initiate the more subtle levels of the practice. In the case of Moola Bandha, this physical practice is the gentle contraction of the central tendon of the pelvic floor. To find this tendon, we take our awareness, first, to a point about an inch in front of the anus, on the perineum (pelvic floor). This is Hui Yin. From there, we move our awareness a couple inches up from this point, into the body. This is the approximate location of the central tendon of the pelvic floor, and the Moola Bandha practice. (In a woman’s body, this is the location of the cervix.)

Moola Bandha: The Master Key

A truly wonderful introduction and guide to the practice of Moola Bhanda is Moola Bandha: The Master Key, by Swami Buddhananda. This book outlines the physical, emotional, and psychological benefits of this practice, as well as the ways in which it acts as a potent tool for the transformation of consciousness. Swami Buddhananda writes (p.31):

“Once control over the practice has been achieved, we can begin to slowly awaken mooladhara chakra and the kundalini shakti which lies within it. Then we may enjoy the bliss which arises from the union of prana and apana, nada and bindu, the union of the formed with the formless.”

This book will take you far in understanding the potential of Moola Bandha, and introducing you to the technique. As with any powerful yogic practice, it’s of course best to be guided by a flesh-and-blood Teacher.


Of Related Interest: Kan & Li Practice - The Alchemy Of Fire & Water

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Your Citation
Reninger, Elizabeth. "Moola Bandha: The Master Key." Learn Religions, Aug. 25, 2020, Reninger, Elizabeth. (2020, August 25). Moola Bandha: The Master Key. Retrieved from Reninger, Elizabeth. "Moola Bandha: The Master Key." Learn Religions. (accessed January 25, 2021).