Living The 8 Limbs Of Yoga In Today’s World
Book ll Sutra 47: PRATYAHARA
By lessening the natural tendency for restlessness and by meditating on the infinite, posture is mastered.
Well how do we use this concept in the world as a daily practice? Most often we understand Pratyahara and the ability to control or withdrawal from our senses. Ahaha is understood to mean food or anything we take into our body, PratI means ‘against or away”. Gaining mastery over external influences. Often times we read the correlation between a turtle withdrawing into his shell as symbolic to understanding Pratyahara.
In the natural world we can take this limb and understand that controlling the quantity and quality of the food we take in as nourishment minus overindulgence, sets the stage for pratyahara. Also, nourishing the mind by the company we keep and the imputes we allow into our space via the media outlets that create impressions in our mind is pratyahara.
Just as the body benefits from fasting, the mind can enjoy the same benefits when we control what sensory perceptions we allow in. Violence sits idol in the tissues of the mind as does the junk in junk food sit idol in the body. Cleansing both the mind and body through fasting not only allows for a healthier mind body but also allows for a healthier connection which is truly the benefit of implementing the 8 limbs into our daily life.
Releasing of the external senses and allowing more internal awareness we find Pratyahara. Often times the excitement is short lived when we indulge into the mind of senses. Mostly we are looking to satisfy the ego. This taste good, this looks good, it makes me feel good, are the ideas we are trying to satisfy. Quieting the mind, moving away from the ego and making good choices that are healthy choices is showing up for your body and mind thus incorporating pratyahara in your everyday life.
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