When I was about six years old I saw a yogi on a show “That’s Incredible”. They showed him doing breathing exercises combined with Nauli or belly rolling exercises. I turned to my father, pulled off my shirt, tied my legs into lotus posture and began doing these strange belly exercises (at least that’s how I remember it).
Little did I know that years and years later I would be practicing these exercises to help with my digestion, lower back issues, breathing and more. It was my more grown-up introduction to these exercises that more thoroughly introduced me to Yoga Bhanda work. I had heard Bhanda instructions in Ashthanga yoga classes as well as others and read about Bhanda work in my studies but it wasn’t until my surgery recovery that I really attempted to practice Bhanda and Nauli exercises. I began to practice much more specific work in my asana practice as well in my pranayama practices. After yet another injury (and eventually surgery), the Uddiyana Kriya exercises proved to be an even greater gift. Even though I had performed the exercises well many years earlier in practice, it wasn't until I had practiced related to a specific issue, like post operation intestinal issues or back issues ect.... that the work of the Bhanda's and the anatomy related to them really began to grow.
Years later, after another automobile accident and some back injury issues I tried to use the combination of Bhanda, Kumbaka and essentially Nauli exercises to help with issues I was having in my Sacral-Lumbar area and had great success. I began doing more practices that had focuses combining these different exercises and mixing them with yoga Asana more and more. When I eventually realized the connection between the muscular systems related to Bhandas and the connective tissue systems (Fascia) related to Bhandas and Nauli type exercises, the work that had been presented to me years earlier finally started to make more and more sense. Unfortunately it took a number of back injuries, a kidney stone incident, a blown lumbar disc and more to finally offer me a tremendously full experience of what Bhandas and Kumbaka exercises could do for the body and what they relate to well beyond the typical yoga discussions.