Practical Pratyahara

My third post on the 5th limb...There's so much to say about pratyahara. In preparation for teaching my upcoming workshop, I decided to put my words into practice. I already practice meditation everyday. But, I decided to cut out some of the negative stimulation in my own life. Because I travel frequently for work, I often have time to kill and I end up on my cellphone, checking emails and social media. I decided to cut out the social media as much as possible for 2 weeks. Now, because I run my own business, and I have an event coming up, it's nearly impossible to shut down my social media contact completely, but I limited how much time I could spend and what was done during that time. I wen

The Power of Pratyahara

This is a follow up to last week's blog post that explains fully what the practice of "Pratyahara" is. If you missed that post, I suggest reading it first. You can find it here: One of the reasons the practice of pratyahara is so important is that it affects all the other limbs of yoga. By cultivating Pratyahara, we are better able to focus and direct our attention inward enabling us to do the real work of self-study, mindfulness and meditation. Let's take a look at how practicing Pratyahara affects the 5 Yamas (which are explained in detail in my other blog posts)... I'm going to go through the 5 Yamas ba

Pratyahara - The 5th Limb

Pratyahara, the 5th of the 8 Limbs of Yoga is typically translated as "withdrawal of the senses". David Frawley describes it as, "fasting from the sensory impressions, but includes all methods of control of the senses and motor organs, and the internalization of attention." (Yoga & Ayurveda) In today's world we are constantly bombarded with external stimuli, making it increasingly difficult to focus our attention, to concentrate and be still. No wonder people have difficulty with meditation! Our attention has become limited and our monkey mind races from one thought or "To Do" list to another. We are easily distracted. Sometimes we are also distracted by pain, disease and ill health. All o

Just BE happy?

This week's blog addresses something I often hear in the yoga community. Often it shows up in silly memes on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. The idea that we just need to CHOOSE to be happy. NO matter our life circumstances - we get to decide how we feel, and we can just "be happy". Sounds nice, maybe even inspiring to some, but shows a huge lack of knowledge of human psychology and experience, and quite frankly, a lack of compassion for others. I was thinking this when I read this article by Luna Leverett the other day. She talks about this in relation to clinical depression. You can find her blog about it here:

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