Monday, 28 November 2011

Day 58 : Supine : Tatakamudra (pond gesture) & Jayaraparivritti (belly twist) Subroutinesubroutine from Vinyasa Krama Meditative sequence


Tatakamudra (pond gesture), so called because the pronounced abdominal cavity created by engaging the bandhas fully, resembles a pond.

We engage the bandhas and create this pond effect while the arms are by the side, above our head and also, if we wish, while in jataraparivritti, the belly twist.

To create the effect, Ramaswami writes...

'Exhale completely. Anchor your heels , tailbone, arms and back; press down through your palms and draw in the rectum; pull the lower abdomen in and towards your back. holed the locks for five to ten seconds. your chin should be locked as well' p105  Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga : Srivatsa Ramaswami

The abdominal lock in the arms raised above head position is perhaps the most effective and thus has the most pronounced 'pond' effect, the legs to the sides in jataraparivritti, the belly twist, the least pronounced.

Ramaswami recommends holding the bandhas for ten  seconds, this is something to build towards, start with three and then five.

Towards the end of the exhalation begin to focus on mula bandha, and begin to prepare for drawing in the rectum at the end of a full exhalation.

I like to imagine that I'm drawing my mula bandha up but also back where it meets the uddiyana, drawing the belly back towards the spine as if a thread is attached to your belly button. Flatten the spine against the mat eliminating the space caused by the curve of the back and continue to draw back and up your belly to create a cavity beneath the ribcage.

To create a deeper cavity and intensify uddiyana bandha even more once you have drawn your belly back and up as far as it will go stretch the ribcage up and outwards.

Remember to engage jalandhara bandha, the throat lock by bringing the chin firmly down to the chest as much as possible without raising the head.

Eliminating the space between the mat and the spine seems to relax the spine making this an ideal preparation posture for paschimottanasana, especially on a cold morning or when you have had less of a warm up.

Flatening the length of the spine along the mat also works as a way of relaxing the spine after intense backbends with or without engaging the bandhas fully.

Tatakamudra is an excellent posture for beginning an exploration of bandhas

As we become more confident with our asana we should begin to work on engaging the bandhas as these can help to steady us in our postures.
Jalandhara bandha
'There are three important band has. the first is jalandhara bandha, or locking the chin against the breastbone. This may be done during kumbhkas and whenever the the posture requires the chin to be locked, which is normally the case during forward bends and when keeping the back erect. In backbends and twisting postures it is not possible to do jalandhara bandha'. p127

Mula and Uddiyana bandha
'The other two bandhas, however, should be practiced in most of the asanas, especially after exhalation. The first is mula bandha, which means "constricting of the anus" It is done after a complete exhalation. After the exhalation is over, the abhyasi (yoga student) should anchor the body in the asana he or she is in and then slowly and deliberately close the anus and draw in the rectum by contracting the perineal and surrounding muscles of the pelvic floor. Then as if in a continuous movement, the abdomen, including the navel, is drawn in, pushing up the diaphragm into the now almost empty chest cavity, which is then called uddiyana bandha ( drawing in of the diaphragm)... This technique is one of the specialities of yogic breathing' p127

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