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Pratyahara - Tools to Practice E-mail
Pranayam - Pranayam
Written by Dr. Kashinath Samagandi   
Saturday, 25 August 2012 12:08

Benefits of Pratyahara

Introduction

Benefits of PratyaharaYoga is a science of spiritual practices for inner growth. Classical yoga system incorporates eight limbs. ‘Pranayama’, the expansion and mastery of vital energy, is the fourth limb, following ‘Asana’ (a steady seated posture) and preceding ‘Pratyahara’ (withdrawal of the senses.)

‘Pratyahara’ is probably the least known amongst Astanga yoga practices. Have you ever attainded a class in ‘Pratyahara’? Have you ever seen a book on ‘Pratyahara’? Do you perform ‘Pratyahara’ as part of your yogic practices? Yet ! unless we understand Paratyahara, we are missing an integral aspect of Astanga yoga without which the system cannot work. As the fifth of the eight limbs, Pratyahara occupies a central place. Some yogis considered it as Bahiranga yoga and other as Antaranga yoga. Both classifications are correct, for Pratyahara as the key between the external and internal aspects of yoga sadhana. It shows us how to move from one to the other.

It is not possible to jump directly from ‘Asana’ to ‘Dharana’, ‘Dhyana’ and ‘Samadhi’. So, to make this transition, the breath and senses, which link the body and mind, must be brought under control and trained properly. This is where ‘Pranayama’ and ‘Pratyahara’ have their role to play. Through Pranama, we control our vital energy and impulses, while with Pratyahara we gain mastery over the senses-both are prerequisites to a successful Meditation.

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