The fifth limb of yoga is pratyahara, or tuning out sensory input and tuning into ourselves. Limbs five, six, seven and eight are yoga practices on inner development.
Our senses are being bombarded all. day. long. It’s exhausting to see the non-stop emails/texts/calls coming in, to have people requesting your attention, and the endless to do list sitting on your desk staring you down. The more distractions you have fighting for your attention, the more you will have to practice pratyahara to keep your peace. While there may be many external stimuli that you cannot control (like where you were born and grew up), there are also ways you can have control over the stimuli you are exposed to. You have power to choose where you spend your time and energy, and the people and distractions that come along with those certain communities.
There is a freedom and peace in tuning inward to quiet the mind and stimulations. Once inside, still and steady, you can better determine where you are spending your time and attention, and then refocus on what is most important to you. In the comments below, create a list of what you would say are the top 5 highest priorities in your life right now. Now, make a list of the top 5 areas in which you spend your precious time. Are the two lists aligned?
“The inner gate opens only when the outer gates are closed.”Hazer
Pratyahara Exercise: Notice how frequently throughout the day you become distracted by what other people are doing or saying. Do you try to change yourself around certain people?
Take a free yoga class and practice pratyahara on your mat!
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