Monday, June 22, 2009

Fifth Limb of Yoga : Pratyahara

Last two weeks we have been discussing about Pranayama and its Benefits. Deep breathing if carefully exercised would slowly start building us not just physically but also mentally in to proceed to the next level of yoga .In one way deep breathing would increase our own awareness.

Today as we continue with the next limb of yoga , slowly and slowly the physical aspect of yoga reduces and more and more work on the Human mind increases . What happens when we start working more and more on pranayama , many people would say they are so conscious about them self and their thoughts. Awareness is on a rise suddenly.Its funny but true that this exact increase of awareness have now to be used to internalize and discover what is happening to us mentally in this part of yoga .
This limb of yoga is called " Pratyahara".

Swami Niranjananda quotes that Pratyahara literally means disassociation or withdrawal of the sensory awareness from the external world . As the awareness internalizes it culminates the development of the witness in our self .Its a state where one develops the ability to simply observe the sensory inputs and functioning of the mind

Its not that hard to be frank , we all know it , we have done it before or even many times. I will give you an example to understand . Lot many times when we try to observe our own reactions in happy or sad mood or even in an angry mood is what we call internalizing the awareness . We all know very well how we are going to react if the team that we favors wins the Euro cup or if they lose it. How do we know because we have seen it before as a third person to our own reactions in positive and negative situations . All of us do it knowing unknowingly. The practice of it more and more is what is called as Pratyahara. As we witness it some times daily it is a practice and its also a process of becoming more and more aware in our own self.

Many other yogic techniques would help you in this internalizing of the awareness . "Shavaasana" or in other words called as Yogic Nidra , "Antar Moun " or inner and outer silence both of them would help a follower to practice and process Pratyahara .

What would be the benefits of such practices? Well do not you think that it would work on our personality. The more we get aware the more we would understand how different we are reacting to different situations and thus slowly and slowly the process of changing in our own reaction starts towards betterment. As a young kid I was angry person , but yes pranayama made me slowly and slowly internalize myself to understand my own reactions and then change it for my own good .This would be just the start of all the other benefits that one can get through the practice of Pratyahara .

Posted by Sudeep

Related Links:

1] First Limb of Yoga : Yama
2] Second Limb of Yoga : Niyama
3] Third Limb of Yoga : Asanas
4] Fourth Limb of Yoga : Pranayama
5] Benefits of Pranayama

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