Hi Glenford N. So delighted to practice together! The bandhas refer to the physical and subtle engagement or lift of mula bandha ("root lock" aka pelvic floor muscles), uddiyana bandha ("flying upward of the navel" aka the abdominals up to the diaphragm), and jalandhara bandha ("throat or chin lock" aka the action of drawing the skull back and lifting up slightly). Being aware of bandhas during asana (sun salutations, backbends, forward folds, twists, etc.) can offer internal support and awaken the core muscles to protect the low back and spine. Engaging the bandhas has been known to help contain and generate internal heat, or tapas. Whereas "core work" implies a series of repetitive movements that specifically target, strengthen, and tone the abdominals. I hope this is helpful. Let me know if you have any further questions. Namaste, Alana
Glenford N, As for your question about widening the base of your skull, try these steps: 1. draw your skull back and in like a turtle. 2. feel the base of your skull lift back and up, slightly. 3. let the chin soften down, slightly. 4. can you feel and sense the base of your skull relaxing, opening, or widening energetically? These actions are very subtle. Another few steps you can explore are: 1. standing or seated, bring the tip of your tongue to the back of your front upper teeth. 2. draw the tip of our tongue back until you reach the soft upper palette of the mouth. 3. explore allowing the soft upper palette to dome or feel more spacious. Again, these are subtle actions to experiment with. Let me know how it goes. Namaste, Alana
Hi Alana, Many thanks for your explanations, which will help me to go deeper into my practice and get the full benefits of Yoga. These actions are very subtle and I look forward to incorporating them into my asanas. Namaste.