Pratayahara : Withdrawal of senses to focus within.

By Yogaroute

Pratayahara : Withdrawal of senses to focus within.

Pratyahara or the '" withdrawal of the senses " is the fifth element among the eight stages of Patanjali's Ashtanga Yoga, Sutras.

 For Patanjali, it is a bridge between the bahiranga (external) aspects of yoga namely, Yama, Niyama, asana, pranayama and the antaranga (internal) yoga.

Having actualized the pratyahara stage, a practitioner is able to effectively engage in the practice of Samyama.

Samyama, as Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, means holding together , tying up , binding integration.

 " listening/studying, investigation/contemplation, realisation/meditation" through combined simultaneous practise Dharana (concentration) , Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (union).

A tool to receive deeper knowledge of qualities of the object. These are activated subconsciously in non-structured form by thinking activity or contemplative absorption and deep level of trance.

Withdrawal of senses from outer objects

                                                  Senses /Indriya 

1)Bahya (external) :Karma Indriya and Gyana Indriya                                                                             2)Antra (mind)


1)Back (mouth)

2)Pado (feet)

3)pani (hands)

4)Vayu (Rectum)

5) Upastha (Sex organs)


1)Chakshu (eye)

2) Karma (Ears)

3)Nasika (nose)

4) Jibva (tongue)

5)Tak (touch,skin)

and finally Antra or the mind.

Why should one practise Pratyahara?

I truly believe the one who has victory over its mind and body has won the battle of life as said in holy scripture, Bhagvad Gita. In our daily lives, the senses drive us crazy and we tend to put all our energy in satisfying these senses. Sometimes for the taste of tongue , we crib for the food we eat, sometimes we are too carried away by visually satisfying our senses to watch the latest videos , movies , theatre with 3D,4D TO 9D effects.These engaging qualities sometimes we tend to collect too many noises inside in our head and forget to feel the silence within us. The practice of Pratyahara/Pranayama helps us bring skillfulness in what we do. Just imagine , instead of being drawn to our own senses and being controlled by them and feeding them all the time ..What would our life be if we even enjoy the silence? What would the experience be for a person wanting to lose weight to be able to enjoy a salad with serenity in mind as much as he/she enjoys a pizza?This mindfulness and awareness of Pratyahara come with the practice of Dhyana (Concentration) , Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (union). It is moulding the mind subconsciously and not the control of mind because the mind cannot be controlled by the level of mind but by breath. A human mind consists of 90% subconsciousness and 10 % can only be controlled or trained.

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