The autumn rush is upon us. Meetings to attend. Deals to complete. Homework to do. Tests to take. Games to attend. Errands to run.
Not to mention holidays looming.
There’s a tremendous mass shift towards achievement and activity. The days shorten, and our collective ambition soars.
Where is the space for YOU? For your inner life? For personal peace? For meaning and comfort? For a few moments of stillness in the midst of all the hurry?
It’s here, in the yoga room. Whenever you need it.
Pratyahara is essential to yoga practice.
‘Pratyahara translates directly as “sense withdrawal” and is a concentrated practice of withdrawing our attention from the external environment like a turtle pulling its limbs into its shell. By actively turning our awareness and attention away from the outside world, we conserve energy and cultivate a focused mind.
Our senses can be used to remove suffering, control the mind and attain inner peace. The ancient yogis perceived the indriyas, the ten senses, like ten windows in a house. If the windows of your home randomly opened and closed you would be subject to constant fluctuations of temperature, insects, air quality, noise, light, etc. This would be annoying, distracting, uncomfortable and certainly not conducive to mental or physical health—let alone inner peace and happiness. Likewise yogis realize that having open and uncontrolled sense organs in the body drains our energy, colors our thoughts, alters our state of mind and binds us to an illusionary world.’ -Timothy Burgin
Your yoga practice can help you to rein in and more wisely use your ‘entry’ senses (‘jnanendryas’):
Each pose has a defined place to focus your eyes. Bikram’s 90 minute class demands that you listen either to your teacher’s voice…or to the sound of the breathing exercises. Beyond the yoga room, students are encouraged to follow stable, moderate lifestyles. (Prone to exaggeration, Bikram used to always say that the best food is ‘no food’.)
It doesn’t stop here. In yoga scripture, there are five additional ‘action’ senses (‘karmendriyas’) that we each must reclaim and control:
During autumn and winter, the pace of modern human life accelerates. We overindulge in food and drink. Attend too many parties. Buy too many gifts. Go too many places. This is in sharp contrast to the natural world, in which animals hibernate, growth slows and rest is taken.
Nowhere will you see an ad campaign inviting you to slow down and turn inward.
BYCF is here for you. We can help you make space for the most important thing in your life: your life.