Pratyahara : senses withdrawal- Yoga Nidra Meditation

According to maharishi Patanjali, when senses leave their objects of enjoyment and get engaged in realising true self(svarup), it is called Pratyahar. So, to bring senses inward is Pratyahar. Normally the senses go outside and develop likes and dislikes after coming into contact with worldly things. Our liking to a thing develops attachment and dislike develops ill will. Pratyahar is fifth limb in Astanga yoga.  After practice of Pranayam control of senses follow and is an important step to inward journey.

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Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep), a kind of Pratyahar, is a powerful yoga technique, which helps one to achieve deep relaxation and awareness of ones own body through yogic sleep. It as a systematic method of inducing complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation, while maintaining awareness at the deeper levels as well as  it’s an excellent technique for inducing lucid dreaming and out-of-the-body experiences during sleep.

Yoga nidra , makes reference to Brahma, the Hindu creator god, who “sleeps” between successive world creations. His sleep is never unconscious.  

Benefits of Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra may have untold benefits that go beyond the therapeutic.

Yoga Nidra helps harmonizing two hemispheres of the brain and the two aspects of autonomous nervous system viz. sympathetic and parasympathetic. The rotation of body awareness stimulates different parts of the brain that control each and every body nerve. When you are aware of each part of your body, you are actually massaging the corresponding part in the brain as well. You establish the connection between the body and the mind. The impressions in the subconscious are brought to surface, experienced and removed. Thus, the fixation of awareness to the body is replaced with the awareness linked to subtler aspects of prana and spiritual dimensions.

 

Note

Everyone can practice. Even beginners who are stiff.

Yoganidra Or Deep Relaxation

It is a powerful yoga technique, which helps   one to achieve deep relaxation and awareness of ones own body, mind and emotions through yogic sleep.

Ashtanga Yoga : Raja Yoga – Eight limbs

rajayoga

Raja means “royal”. Raja Yoga is the path of Yoga that focuses on meditation and contemplation. It is based on the Eight Limbs of Yoga which was discussed in the Yoga Sutra. The Yoga Sutras are built on a foundation of Samkhya philosophy and the Bhagavad Gita. In the Yoga Sutras, Maharshi Patanjali prescribes adherence to eight “limbs” or steps (the sum of which constitute “Ashtanga Yoga”

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This Yoga path teaches deep self respect through self mastery. The self here is honored. Raja Yoga believes that the universe exists for the self, giving the self an illusion of centrality which results to self respect and respect for all creatures.

 

Ashtanga Yoga – The Eight Limbs of Raja Yoga

The eight “limbs” or steps are  Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. Some yogis categorized these eight steps into two groups. Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, and Pratyahara comprise the first group. Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi belong to second group, called Samyama. This categorization is because of no cognizance present among Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.

Though there is no cognizance to Dharana, Dhyana and Samadh, they are independent of time and sequence. The result is that they exist independently and also exist simultaneously. Any one, two or three can exist at the same time. When the three stages exist simultaneously then it is called  Samyamah, the simultaneous existence.

           

 The Yoga of Patanjali is Ashtanga or comprised of 8 limbs,

 

 Yama / Niyama- are ethical obligations.

 Asana- Postures of the body.                                                                        

 Pranayama – Control of prana or vital breath. Asana, Pranayama are breath control.

 Pratyahara – Pratyahara is sense withdrawal.

 Dharana – Dharana  is fixing the attention on a single object; concentration.

 Dhyana – Dhyana is meditation.

 Samadhi – Samadhi the experience of unity with God (Super-conscious state or trance).

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