What is Pratyahara?
- Pratyahara is one of the eight limbs of Yoga, as described in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. It is often translated as “withdrawal of the senses” or “control of the senses”. Pratyahara is the fifth limb of Yoga, coming after the practice of Asana (physical postures) and Pranayama (breathing exercises), and before the practice of Dharana (concentration) and Dhyana (meditation).
- Pratyahara involves the conscious withdrawal of the senses from the external world and turning them inward. This practice is a necessary step towards achieving a deeper state of meditation, where the mind is free from external distractions and able to focus on the inner Self.
- By withdrawing the senses from external stimuli, the mind becomes more peaceful and quiet, and the practitioner can begin to explore the inner landscape of the mind. Pratyahara helps to cultivate a deeper awareness of the mind and senses, and to develop greater control over the mind.
- The practice of Pratyahara involves various techniques such as pranayama, concentration, and visualization, and can be practiced in various ways such as sitting in meditation, practicing Yoga Nidra, or simply by taking a mindful walk in nature. Ultimately, the goal of Pratyahara is to develop greater awareness, control, and harmony of the mind and senses, leading to a deeper understanding of the true nature of the Self.