Yoga can be confusing, especially when you are starting out. Back in the day when I was still a beginner I would attend class, practice for a full hour and a half, then leave and forget everything the teacher had said. I would get so into my meditation/asana practice that I was in my own space, going with the flow and listening for queues, but never truly retaining any of the information I was being told.
I then changed direction and began practicing a lot by myself. Self practice was amazing for me at that time and totally transformed my view of what yoga was. I didn’t even know what any of the postures were called, I just did my own thing and it really worked for me.
Then after a few years I felt like I needed a bit more guidance, energy and motivation. I began attending classes. This time around making the decision to become an active listener, to really show up to class and take in everything my teacher said. This was when I realised I had no idea what the teacher was saying!
There were so many foreign words flying around that it made me feel like I was starting from the very beginning…
Now as a teacher there are certain aspects of the practice which I constantly come back to throughout class. One of the most important and most frequently to come up is the bandhas. I know how intimidating all the different sanskrit names can be and me repeating “engage your bhandas” without you knowing what it is could lead to you to feeling unresolved at the end of class.
Therefore this post is going to be solely on the bandhas. What they are, what their purpose is and how they can improve your personal yoga practice. So when you next get on your mat you know exactly what your teacher is going on about…