A year of Pratyahara

From this article on Yoga Journal , you can look at the 5th limb of 8 in yoga, Pratyahara. Quoted as follows:

Pratyahara, the fifth limb, means withdrawal or sensory transcendence. It is during this stage that we make the conscious effort to draw our awareness away from the external world and outside stimuli. Keenly aware of, yet cultivating a detachment from, our senses, we direct our attention internally. The practice of pratyahara provides us with an opportunity to step back and take a look at ourselves. This withdrawal allows us to objectively observe our cravings: habits that are perhaps detrimental to our health and which likely interfere with our inner growth.

What started my interest in this (besides being agonizingly analytical, oversensitive and curious) was the fact that I can’t seem to let go of a notion once it enters my mind. There’s the adage that we should guard our thoughts because what we think we come. Well, my filter lets some stuff through that has me thinking WTF? But other ideas take root like little termites in a wooden house and eat away. After scraping thoughts through every nook and cranny of myself, and avoiding the distraction of letting my egoic chatter lead me down the path of inviting the fake, nonexistent gibberish of others into my mind, I am left with some pretty cool thoughts. Have you ever just talked to yourself? Learn to like it. You’re all you’ve got.

It’s been almost a full year since I opened up a yoga business in Colchester England. Just me and myself and some pretty cool students. There are things I have learned that had I never done this, the little termites would have born in and eaten my wooden brain alive. What I’d like to leave you with is your notions won’t always be developed on some grand scale like moving to a new country, new business and new family. Maybe it will be like a gong on the head in sensation and realization, but the ins and outs of it might be something as ‘small’ as sitting a different way in posture and realizing your neck doesn’t hurt anymore, or reacting differently to something your mother says and realizing she’s funny.  But spending time immersed in pratyahara will certainly leave you closer to the front door of contentedness. You’ll roll up – put your bag at the door, knock and wait patiently to know you’ve come full circle and arrived back ‘home’ after the journey is complete. It’s always about the journey anyway. And next time some notion rises into your awareness like a burning sunrise, you’ll be more aware if you should let it set or give it some more sunshine and attention. You’ll recognize frivolous, time wasting and hurtful choices versus the big ones. The ones that matter.

Knowing others is wisdom knowing self is enlightnment mastering others requires force mastering the self needs strength



One thought on “A year of Pratyahara

  1. Pingback: Soul Food and Soul Flow Vinyasa Yoga blog exchange challenge | Soul Flow Vinyasa Yoga

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