Yoga Ashram

More about the Practice of Pratyahara

 


Pratyahara has been explained in different ways in many different traditions.  

In the Raja Yoga system Pratyahara has been described as 

Yogaschitta vritti nirodhah – cessation or blocking of the modifications of the mind

Basically, the practice of Pratyahara that will be adapted during the Silent Retreat is to skilfully turn the senses inwards so we are no longer affected or defeated by external distractions and disturbances.  When we are able to reduce the distractions of the senses, we can then acquire stability, inner quietness and peacefulness.

The senses are the: 

  • ears – hearing,
  • eyes – seeing,
  • touch – sensation,
  • tongue – taste,
  • nose – smell 

They are a very strong and important medium which we use to perceive, interact, act, react and experience the external environment and world around us.  

Unfortunately, knowingly or unknowingly the untamed senses are constantly flowing outwards towards and feeding on the outer objects.  This overload of outer feeding creates stress, distractions, desires and imbalances in our awareness, clarity and level of discernment.

One must know that in Pratyahara you are not stopping the mind and the senses, you are consciously blocking the mind from following and connecting externally with the layers of impressions gathered from day to day by the senses and stored in the memory as a personal experience. 

These impressions and experiences are of both attraction and aversion according to the previous encounter and memory of the sense experience.   

Thus the involvement or identification with the senses keeps us swinging from one end of the pendulum to the other.  This continual swing leaves us without knowing the meaningfulness of stability, contentment, fulfillment and inner peacefulness.  

A simple practice of Pratyahara awareness as a sitting or moving meditation in daily awareness helps us to rest in the present unaffected or defeated by the movements and conditions constantly changing and surrounding us. 

 

Rocklyn Yoga Ashram, operated by Yoga Association of Victoria Inc. as an autonomous entity,
remains committed to the tradition of Satyananda Yoga and continues the teachings under
the banner of Satyananda Yoga by arrangement with the IYFM.