Our senses draw us out of ourselves. Think about it for a moment; listening, looking, smelling, tasting and feeling. Each day we are pulled by our senses, think of a smell as you walk past a bakery, or what you see as you scroll through your Instagram account, or what you feel as you make your way through your day, what you listen to? (and whom you listen to!), what you eat during the day, just as an example.
No wonder, we are wiped out, exhausted, done, full (yet empty) and tired.
All day this goes on, and if we aren't in the habit or practice of turning out we will probably burn out. This looks different for all of us, but could be: over fatigued, stressed, over it, sleep deprived, cranky, irritated and just plain done.
The antidote to this is the juice of my practice at the moment: Pratyahara! This is one of the Eight Limbs of Yoga and is a balm for this tired but wired feeling we may have.
Pratyahara can be summed up here quite nicely from Osho "go within or go without". Its about drawing the curtain on our senses and drawing inward.
It might looks like this:
Perhaps the first 5 minutes when you get to Yoga, you roll your mat out and lie down and close your eyes. Do you feel that little exhale, the letting go as you relax into the mat, the turning in? Hmmmm, yes.
Coming home to yourself.
Taking a rest from the pull of the world.
Turning down the volume so you can listen to the still quiet voice within.
So good, so necessary.
Lately I've been noticing how this practice for me is reflected in the New Moon. I like that we can't actually see the New Moon. I feel like this is no small coincidence, as its often the time to reveal new intentions, dreams, habits, rituals etc. Making these intentions we begin to bring things unseen into being, matching perhaps their development to the cycle of the moon from darkness to the light of the full moon, from a dream to a plan, from a wish to a form.
I think thats why I feel so drawn to the new moon, even though I can't see it, I can feel it. It feels more calm, more soothing than the full moon, maybe its the thought of the possibility, the dreamy state of just thinking and feeling into intentions.
More on that in another post I think, otherwise this should post should have had a different title!
If we don't go within, how can we ever create the life we dream of, if we don't draw in how can we listen to our souls voice, our intuition, our conscience. All these tools we've been given for creating a skilful life lie within, so in the words of Osho "go within or go without", I recommend going within!
Here's a few things to try on the way to Pratyahara:
- Music // Find a long piece of music, say 10 to 15 mins where you can completely drop into the sounds.
- Incense or candle // Light a stick of incense or a candle, sit, close your eyes, smile & breathe.
- Japa Mantra // With a mala, silently repeat a word or a sound that resonates with you. Work your way around the 108 beads, or seeds on your mala to calm your mind and feel it draw your attention in.
- Asana // Do a slow, relaxed physical practice and really drop into how it feels in your bones, your muscles and your soul.
When we draw in and practice Pratyahara, "We become aware of where our energy is moving or congested, and have an opportunity to feel and sort out through what is bottled up in our emotional or psychological blocks". Great words on this practice from a favourite book of mine called The Yogi's Roadmap by Bhavani Silvia Maki.
Until next time!