The five components of creation – ether, air, fire, water and earth – have given us our five senses: hearing, feeling, sight, taste and smell. We’re considering ways that yoga aids us to withdraw from the senses and establish inner focus. This process is called pratyahara.
We’ll begin with the bridge movements. Let’s close our eyes and really focus on the breath moving the body.
After resting in the pose of a goddess, we’ll work with gentle spinal twists. Now we’ll rest in the little bear.
The shoulderstand allows us to look at the world from a different angle, and the plough posture allows us to engage the chin lock.
We’ve been working with TRE – the tension and trauma release exercise. We’ll meet it again here. Gradually you’ll become more accustomed to the feeling of the legs shaking of their own volition. It’s the same idea as the body shivering on a really cold day! This happens without instruction from the mind…
Let’s now practise the fish pose, before using the boat to come to sitting. The tortoise posture waits for us here, followed by a powerful backward stretch – purvottonasana.
Our little balance to complete our asana work is the cosmic egg. After cool-downs, we’ll sit for meditation.
Working on the right hand we’ll touch the thumb to each finger in turn, beginning with the index finger. We’ll silently repeat the sounds SA/TA/NA/MA. This practise is so efficient at taking us directly into the state of pratyahara.
For relaxation we’ll focus on the breath – breathe in and out for the count of four, then repeat for five, repeat for six, seven and eight. Then resume normal breathing, and sink into a deep, restful relaxation – a holiday for the senses and the nervous system.
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti