Pratyahara- Drawing senses inward (prepares us for dharana)

Pratyahara is the withdrawal or control of senses. It is most commonly known for sensory inhibition.  This occurs during meditation, pranayama or asana wherein you are so focused and immersed on your Yoga, Meditation or Breathing Pose that you become unaware of outside situations. Your focus becomes inward and you are no longer distracted by outside events.

Pranayama is derived from two Sanskrit words: prati and ahara, where prati means away or against and ahara meaning food, or anything taken into ourselves. So, Pratyahara literally means “to withdraw oneself from that which nourishes the senses.”

You can induce Pratyahara by reducing physical stimuli, and concentrating on one sense.

  • Shotra    — ears
  • Chakshu — eyes
  • Grahna    — nose
  • Jivha — tongue
  • Tvak — skin

Shotra    — ears

Sit in a dark room and listen to the sounds out side the room.  Concentrate.  Begin to separate the sounds.  Notice the cars driving by, the sound of the birds in the trees, a mother calling her child.

Chakshu — eyes

Close your ears with ear plugs and take time to look at a familiar object.  Notice, the color, the shape, the length, the with.  Notice everything about the objuct.

Grahna    — nose

Use essential oils or a sented candle.  Sit in a dark quiet room.  Close your eyes and concentrate on the sent of the candle.  How does it make you feel?  What memories doe the smell invoke?

Jivha — tongue

Eat slowly in a dark , quiet room.  How does the food taste?  Does it taste differently than when you can see the food.  Does it tase differently when your only focus is the food?

Tvak — skin

Sit in a quiet dark room.  Hold a familiar object in your hands.  See it with your touch.  How does your object feel?  Is it cold or warm?  Smooth or sharp?

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One Response to “Pratyahara- Drawing senses inward (prepares us for dharana)”

  1. The Eight Limbs of Raja Yoga « 2nd Star To The Right Yoga Blog Says:

    […] Pratyahara- Drawing senses inward (prepares us for dharana) Withdrawal or sensory transcendence, the conscious […]

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