Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pratyahara: Turning Down The Volume


There are eight limbs of the Yogic path.

Review them all, click here.
We often forget that there are eight.

It’s very easy to simply enjoy our time on our Yoga mats – stretching and reaching and curling and twisting. Asana, the limb of physical movement, is especially popular here in the West because, while our lives may be quite active, our movements often aren’t.
So, we come to our mats to revitalize our physical bodies.

Nothing wrong with that … I would be awfully lonely in my Yoga studio if you all didn’t love to stretch and fold and twist on your mats with me each week!
In almost every Yoga class, there is also time to focus the breath, practicing breathing with direction and purpose.  The limb of Pranayama.

Next up is Pratyahara, the limb of withdrawing the senses inward. This means to turn off the distractions that surround you, in preparation for mediation or simply a bit of peace.

I call it, "turning down the volume on the day."

While people can get very excited over accomplishing a headstand or a handstand, they often write off the value of just going inward.
In  truth, the movement of Asana and the direction of breathing are simply tools to help us reach the higher limb of Pratyahara.

Pratyahara can be a nourishing part of any Yoga practice on the mat. But, it’s even more nourishing when you find ways to incorporate the practice into your daily life.

I wrote about Pratyahara “off the mat” on my other blog this week.

Click here to read about the little kid who showed me how it's done.




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