Good morning everyone!
I am fresh off the fifth of six total yoga classes in the YogaLife NH beginner series, which I have dutifully been partaking in with my wife, Ali. It has been a surprisingly interesting ride, this Yoga-thing. I am feeling more fit, more energetic, and a little less foggy. I have not been able to kick this fatigue from the last few months completely but you can’t get everything I suppose.
This week’s class began with a discussion, per usual. The focus was on Pratyahara (sensory control), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi (cognitive absorption). The postural focus was ‘balancing’ poses, which have been an issue for me so far. Since it was just an intro into each of these topics, I won’t pretend to be all knowing (yet).
Let’s focus on Pratyahara, since it is a very cool concept. Pratyahara is, essentially, the ability to withdraw from your external senses (sight, sound, etc.) and draw (or pay attention) inward. The example that was given was that of you sitting in your living room with the window open. Outside your window, your neighbor is mowing his lawn. How would you react?
People’s perception will vary, but the possible reactions are that of annoyance at the sound, happy association (you remember a favorite family member mowing the lawn every Saturday as a child), disinterest (it’s just a lawn mower), or inattention (oh, what lawn mower?). From what I can tell, the goal of Pratyahara is to be able to get to a state where you do not notice the lawn mower, so that you can focus internally. I will have to look into it more and let you know what I find.
I feel good but I do wish that next week was not the last yoga class. It looks like we are going to continue going to a regularly scheduled class on Thursdays, but we will miss beginning our week this way; it has been rather refreshing. How do you like to begin your week? Any suggestions for jumpstarting your week?