What is the center of your life?
In yoga we have a practice called the Uddiyana bandha. It’s the engagement of the core area, sometimes called “The flying up lock.” To engage Uddiyana bandha you draw the navel center inward and upward on the exhale. You can practice this all throughout the asana practice, and let it go in the end during meditation and savasana.
To get in touch with our core center is a practice that holds physical and philosophical meaning and benefits. Firstly, we grow strong. Staying engaged in our core supports a vulnerable part of our body where the spine has a lot of pressure on it to provide guidance and support to the rest of our limbs.
On a life-practice level, it’s hugely beneficial to feel that you are always stabilizing from within. We have a lot of external elements to our lives from our jobs, to our homes, and our loved ones. When we can exist in all of these planes from a deep stable center, then those engagements grow healthier, as we support each other, rather than just lean on each other. In psychology, this is called “secure attachment.” When we feel supported by our relationships, and also free and safe on our own.
Of course the reliance only on ourselves for security can be an imbalance in the opposite direction of leaning too hard on the external forces in our lives. It’s possible to develop such a strong attachment to just ourselves, that we can’t ever let go, and allow others in to be a part of our journey. So we have to be able to connect to Uddiyana bandha and also let it go.
This month, as you practice asana, try to deeply work Uddiyana bandha. Know that the practice involves both the strengthening of the inner core, as well as the ability to release, relax, and let go of it. Living a centered life, means being so strongly connected within, that you can feel safe to lean out, because doing so doesn’t mean a complete abandonment of yourself. Practice being aware of where your center is. Is it inside you, is it on another person, is it in your work?
Ultimately the best place to be is in the ability to have fluidity between all of those places. Deeply connected to you, intimately connected to others, and wholly engaged in purpose.
Find center, and live free!