Distal Support

If we are not confident in having a strong and stable foundation in our body, the insecurity will motivate us to seek external forms of stability. We do this by contracting muscles “at a distance” from the center of our body. In Western physiology this is referred to as distal support.

For example if we lock the elbows and force the wrists to a 90º angle in the table position we may feel solid, but the distal support is actually a rigid contraction. It is an unnecessary movement in relation to fulfilling the core musculoskeletal purpose of the posture, which is to actively strengthen the back and passively lengthen the front of the torso. By using only distal support, the breath and brain will feel constricted, the lower body unnecessarily tense and the energy disconnected between the upper and lower halves of the body. However if the distal support of the elbow and wrist contraction is simply released and our core remains unengaged, we will feel weak and wobbly.

Through regular use of mulabandha, we learn that the protective tension and rigidity can be transformed into internal strength and lift. This enables us to reduce unnecessary injuries, release trapped energy, and live in our body with more joy.

With mulabandha to anchor your own power, you can create safety during a long sustained stretch, strengthen your trunk, and redistribute precious energy from contraction into conscious awareness. Once you have that core strength in place, you can choose the patterns of distal support that enhance your aims.