Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pratyahara - Water in stillness.

 " We need to spend time outside the realm of volitional or willful activity in a place outside our attempts to consciously control life. "

Pratyahara is the softening of sensory awareness; the fifth limb of Yoga. Students of Yoga can build a foundation for more physically active practices by working with the subtle body in a yoga practice, and by becoming attune to meditative states of awareness.

Beginner yoga students benefit from asana (the physical practice of Yoga) that draws attention to the subtle movement inside the body. I like to think of this state as the water on the surface of a lake at dawn on a calm summer day. You can visualize the mist rising from the surface of the lake, which seems frozen in time and space. The sky mirrored backwards on the surface of the water. The contents of this water also visible if you were to gaze into its depth. The sounds are muted and precise, and few and far between.

Practice a Yoga that allows you to listen and tune in to the subtle body. Tuning in to the sensations of the quiet Self within you is the foundation from which we can make a connection with the subtle body. Yoga asana is mindful work with attention paid to sensation.

 In Pratyahara, one can begin to experience real spaciousness (an element in the practice of Yoga) and stillness; this is like a fourth dimension. Step outside of control in you Yoga practice! Learn to let go of what you have come to know as 'experience'. This too is Yoga.

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