Padasthana + Bandhas
Padasthana - Foot Patterns
cultivation of apana vayu – the grounding force. Action: As you ground down into the four corners of the foot there is a rebound effect of gravity that travels up through the center of the arch, up the bones to the center of the pelvis.
For asymmetrical standing poses except Vira II family. As gravity grounds from pelvis to the feet, the weight of the front foot shifts from heel to ball while the weight of the back foot shifts from ball to heel. As the energy rebounds up the legs, dial the pelvis into its position according to hips open (ex: triangle) or hips square, ex: vira 1.
Found in all Vira II family of poses. In the front foot, the weight flows from the pelvis to the knee, knee to heel, heel to the ball. Then spin the foot from inner to outer (big toe to little toe) to draw energy up from the outer shin to the sit bone. This action aligns the knee forward and rotates the front hip under to engage mula bandha. The back foot presses ball to heel and draws the back femur into alignment.
Flex the heel, point the toes – now radiate through ball of foot as toes flex.
Radiate through the heels. Usually feet in the air, not on the floor (as in ardha chandrasana, half moon).
Bandhas - Energetic Support + Boundaries
Cultivation of the root energy
As the tailbone and pubic bone descend, the energy rises up through the center of the diamond shaped pelvic floor. Another way to feel this is to imagine hugging the sitting bones towards the center of the body. Mula bandha creates 'buoyancy' in the pelvis by balancing the effect of apana and preventing the pelvis from sinking too low. For men and women, the lifting of the perineum is the beginning of mula bandha. It is also described as a contraction in the cervix for women.
To fly up from the root
The application of uddiyana bandha in asana can be for structural and energetic support of the spine. In the asanas, we will be focusing on the structural uddiyana bandha, which is formed as tailbone and pubic bone ground toward the earth. The energy rises toward the pelvic floor and is “caught” by the lower belly, which draws in and up towards the spine in a wave. The diamond-shaped markers of uddiyana bandha in the body are: the pubic bone, navel, and left and right heads of the pelvis.
As the hamstring contracts around the ischial tuberosities, it creates containment and balance to protect over stretching the hamstring attachment.
As the four corners of the palm of the hand ground into the earth, the energy rises creating buoyancy and space in the wrist, elbow and shoulder joints.
As energy moves up, the chest expands and the chin lowers to sternum to keep the energy from creating too much stimulation in the head. Mainly used in pranayamas and inhale retention in asana.