Posts Tagged ‘Grahna’

Dharana-teaching the mind to focus on one point or image (prepares us for Dhyana)

December 15, 2010

Dharana-teaching the mind to focus on one point or image

Immovable concentration of the mind is the underlying principle of Dharana. The essential idea is to hold the concentration or focus of attention in one direction. The mind needs to be stilled in order to achieve this state of complete absorption.  The goal is to still the mind, gently pushing away superfluous thoughts by fixing your mind on some object such as a candle flame, a flower, or a mantra. In dharana, concentration is effortless. You know the mind is concentrating when there is no sense of time passing.

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

Shotra    — ears

Mantra is a sound, syllable, word or group of words that are considered capable of creating transformation

Example – to say the word om:

Take a deep breath in; as you release it say the oooooooooooooooo until the air is about 3/4 released then say the mmmmmm.

Chakshu — eyes

Visualization: you can visualize a beach, or a flower or the OM symbol or to concentrate on the point between the eyebrows, the Ajna Chakra or the third eye.

Grahna — nose

Pranayama: Focus on your breath

Example Sheetali:  Sit comfortably. Draw out the tongue and roll it up from the sides to form a tube like opening. Slowly suck the air through it and fill the lungs completely. After full inhalation withdraw the tongue and close the mouth. Then slowly exhale through the nose. Repeat.

Learn More Pranayama HERE

Jivha — tongue

Taste: Focus on eating a piece of fruit

Example – Close your eyes and see if you can smell the fruit. Lick your lips and rub the fruit over your lips. How does it feel? Now lick your lips. Can you taste the trace flavor of the fruit? Hold the it in your mouth, and roll it around. How does it feel in your mouth? As you chew, notice the immediate change in the intensity of the flavor. Slowly chew  while resisting the urge to swallow. Sit a little taller and notice if posture affects your appreciation for the fruit. Breathe deep. Does breathing help you enjoy the taste? Relax your face and smile. Notice how smiling improves the taste of fruit.

Tvak — skin

Touch: Walking Meditation

Example – Be mindful while walking, make each step a gesture, move in a state of grace. Walk with slow, small, deliberate, balanced, graceful foot steps. Then, when both the breath & walking have slipped into a regular pattern, become aware of the number of footsteps per breath (2, 3 or 4 steps per inhalation and 2, 3 or 4 steps per exhalation). When you have discovered your natural rhythm, lock into it, so that the rhythm of the walking sets the rhythm for the breath like a metronome.

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Pratyahara- Drawing senses inward (prepares us for dharana)

December 3, 2010

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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