The Yama Yoga Store Goes Out on A Limb to Talk About Pratyahara

The Yama Yoga Store Goes Out on A Limb to Talk About Pratyahara



Pratyahara is the fifth of the Eight Limbs on the Yoga Tree and it is pronounced (Prati-ya-hara)This limb acts as a central limb that occupies both the outer and inner aspects of Yoga. With the eight limbs, we move from Pranayama or control/freedom of breath to Pratyahara the control and freedom from the five senses or command of outside influences. How better to prepare for meditation? We cannot truly reach a meditative state if our five senses are always nagging at us. Like when your mind is playing reruns of Orange is The New Black (Season 2, of course) and the new Pink album is humming stronger in your brain than in your earbuds. Can you tune out your neighbors arguing and your kid slamming basketballs in your living room?



Think about tuning out all five senses like sound, touch, sight, taste, and smell and doubling down with mastery over associations to people and things. This is no easy task and Yogis and Yogini's practicing meditation for many years can attest to the difficulty of slipping into the void where there is no time, no temperature, no space, and certainly no Facebook...and yet such wonderful things can be done in this space. A journey like non-other. 





Pratyahara can be likened to giving our bodies nourishment with only foods that are good for us. In practicing Pratyahara we would choose to only put in sensory impressions that are good for us. No junk food, no junk impressions! People absorb impressions in a variety of ways but some folks are more of a sponge than others soaking up all of the sex and violence in their most recent film choice and believing the colors they just saw on the screen are somehow real and they are a part of them. Let it go! The best way to quit the junk, in general, is cold turkey. A good trip out to a mountain range where you can’t really get much on the old cell phone is a good recipe for leaving it behind for a while. Spend some time in the woods or on a kayak…(My Fav). This is, in a way fasting, and when we fast we clear up all of those digestive issues, and when we fast from all of the input and sensory stimulation in our daily lives we can clear up all of the negativity and return quickly to clarity and peace. This may just give us an opening for furthering or beginning our meditative practice in a serious way. 



I drop my boat in the water, get in, and Ahhhhh. That's what I always say, “Ahhhhhhhh”. I can't wait to drop the mouse and cell for a trip out on my boat on Nockamixon Lake. It's like home, only quieter.



Tell us about your experiences with Pratyahara. Some folks are very good at "Tuning it all out".

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Sat Nam ਸਤ ਿ ਨਾਮੁ Soorya Kirti Kaur

The Yama Yoga Store



Images: Cover is close up by Hieronymous Bosch

Inside image: Unknown

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