Monday, February 20, 2012

Pratyahara: the silence within

In yoga there are many things to learn. The asasna are the third limb of yoga and before them come the yamas and niyamas. Two paths to talk about the restraints and practices in our every day life.

The first two paths of yoga are there to help us set a structure for how we are to live our life, because when we do not have structure we fall apart. Chaos creeps in and we can get lost - distracted by shiny objects in life.

Asanas help us to keep our temple in shape and pranayama teaches us to use our breath to use that strength internally as the asanas help us use it externally.

Today I would like to talk about Pratyahara - the 5th limb of Yoga - which is the control or withdraw from the senses.

In our modern society we are over stimulated from the moment we wake to the moment we go to bed. Television, computers, smart phones, radios and everything else in between - our mind never has a moment to breathe. Suddenly we are unable to follow our gut, because we can't hear it any more. Shiny objects that distract us from what's inside.

I the silence that lies inside of us are all the answers and the truths to what we have been asking all these years. Seeking answers out of our own being will only generate more questions, lead to confusion and steer us from the path we were destined to follow. Because the truth is, we really are all here for a reason - we all have purpose and yes, there is room for all of us.

Those moments of fear we all have, that voice in our head that says things like, "But there are 27 others who do what I do! There is no room for me!" that voice in your gut, the one you hear when you practice Pratyahara will answer, "But you are you and that makes it different. No one can life the life you are meant to live. Just you."
Stepping away from the self, from the noise, from what you think you should be doing and helps you see who you really are. Meditation, pratyahara, washed away the worry of every day life.

Yoga Sutra 2.54: "When the senses withdraw themselves from objects and imitate, as it were, the nature of the mind-stuff, this is pratyahara."

Yoga Sutra 2.55: "Then follows supreme mastery over the senses."

Through the practice of pratyahara you will bring all of your senses in control - this control will lead to the freedom to be happy all the time. No longer relying on temporary happiness brought to us by food, television or even sex - we can find the true voice inside.

To quote Sri Swami Satchidananda, "If we have that control, [over our senses], we can do whatever we want, find peace and joy within and share the same with all humanity."

Spend 30 minutes a day to sit in silence, allow the mind to drift and find that inner peace that lies in all of us.
Have a blessed week! The light & strength in me honors the light and strength in you.


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