Engaging bandhas in every practice?

It might sound like a stupid question, but are we supposed to engage the three bandhas in every practice at all times for all poses? I find it difficult to concentrate on maintaining the poses right, and always keeping the three bandhas engaged just seems impossible!
Also, what about while meditating? And while doing pranayama?

Hi there! Not at all a stupid question - in fact, it’s quite common. Think of the bandhas as your internal support system and for most people these muscles haven’t been trained to be ‘on’ when they are most needed. Other muscles take over, which is ok but not ideal. The more you train them to be on, the more they will. So at first you will feel like it’s a lot of effort to keep them engaged, but over time they will start to turn on themselves, and it will be less effort.

In terms of meditation and pranayama… if you’re seated, the bandhas will help you sit up straight. Think of them as energetic forces that lift you away from gravity. There are exceptions, though. If you are trying to breathe into the belly, you’ll want to soften your lower bandhas. If you’re wanting to move energy while practicing pranayama, the engaging the lower bandhas will help move the energy upward.

Does that answer your questions?