Pratyahara and Apocalyptic Times: Reclaim the Power of Your Awareness
Those in power who deal in the currency of harm benefit when we we are chronically overstimulated, distracted, overwhelmed.
An atmosphere of overwhelming stimulation is a strategic tool of oppression.
(So, here is your invitation to be less hard on yourself. This exhausting overwhelm is systemic and not an individual failing.
The practice of yoga offers specific techniques to contradict these traps and tendencies. We can actually train, reprogram, and un-tether the power of our minds, awareness, and bodies.
Commonly translated as SENSE WITHDRAWAL, pratyahara is the 5th limb in Patanjali’s system of yoga. It is a bridge between the more physical, relational external elements, and subtler, internal ones.
We can embody pratyahara in asana and pranayama. This is a tangible skill we can develop: reclaiming our awareness, drawing in, resting and refreshing the sense organs.
When we attune to inner listening and connection to the guidance + wisdom within, rather than being pushed and pulled by the desires and agendas of the external, we regain a sense of authorship in our life. We hold the reigns of our chariot, to reference the metaphor from the Bagavad Gita, rather than letting the wild horses of our mind and senses pull us in all directions. We can connect to the inner, deeper source of knowing, the intelligence beyond the surface mind, within.
It’s not about escapism, but rather a sense of alertness, freshness, clarity.
Of course such practice requires discipline. Supportive counterculture community and a trusted facilitator helps too.
It is a conscious decision to unhook the senses and draw inward, to cultivate subtle inner observation. It is a key to open new doorways. Doorways within you, that will benefit the collective massively should you chose to go there.
We practice aspects of pratyahara in nearly every class I teach. Much of what we are doing is reclaiming our awareness, and learning to direct it consciously in the body and beyond, within, rather than letting it disperse into the patterns of the mind.
Body, mind, sensation.
These are powerful tools we all have for liberatory transformation.
We won’t wear kinky blindfolds like this one, but if the metaphor caught your attention enough to read about pratyahara, then sweet.
In response to these times, I’m also working on a potent new project…
Stay tuned + make sure you’re on my newsletter.