• Rebecca Laidlaw

What is Pratyahara

Updated: Nov 29, 2020

We use our senses to navigate our way through the world right? We use our eyes to see, our ears to hear, our nose to smell, our mouth to taste, and our sensation of touch to sense everything whether positive or negative. Pratyahara is the practice of withdrawing the energy that we would use while using these senses and pulling it inside, pulling the energy to the spine where our chakra system lies.

Question, have you ever been so entranced in a movie, video game, talking with a friend or loved one that the outside world seems to melt away? When you are so focused that you can't hear someone call your name or the phone ring or see someone you know walk right by you? In essence that is similar to Pratyahara the difference is that during a Pratyahara practice the focus is on your inner world.

Our senses are over-stimulated every day. Your senses are over-stimulated right now especially if you are reading this on a phone. Trying to read with pinging notifications about your latest post on Insta, 1 million WhatsApp notifications, and an e-mail or 10. Our brains were not designed to cope with modern-day life. Putting the phone down, close your eyes, and just take a moment to breathe. This is where I started my practice of Pratyahara. I now find I can be more present and don't use my phone as much in the process. From there it evolves.

Pratyahara is the practice of going internal for example through meditation or while in Savasana at the end of your yoga class. Having control of the senses to the degree that you can withdraw the energy from them and re-direct it to the spine. As with the rest of the Eight Limbs of Yoga as detailed by Patanjali, it is not only a practice for the mat. It's a lifestyle practice, an everyday occurrence where possible.

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