Pratyahara is the fifth element among the Eight stages of
Patanjali's Ashtanga Yoga. At this stage, the consciousness of the individual is internalized in order that the sensations from the sensesof taste, touch, sight, hearing and smell don't reach their respective centers in the brain. It is also termed as the 'withdrawal of the senses'. With this, the Sadhaka, or disciple, is free to meditatewithout distractions.
At the advanced levels, the electrical currents which pulsate through the nerves and even the involuntary muscles are turned off by the practitioners. This may be accomplished through
Apart from Pranayama, another device that is used to aid in the development of Pratyahara is to concentrate on the point between the eyebrows. This location is known as
Ajna Chakraor the third eye.
Another common technique for inducing Pratyahara is to first reduce physical stimuli, then concentrate on one sense, such as hearing. The mind has a natural tendency to roam between the sensory inputs. In this situation, as there are no longer any other significant sensory inputs, when the mind gets tired of hearing, it is forced to turn inward.
* [http://sathya-sai-baba.org/stages.html#Pratyahara Pratyahara] Comments on the Patanjali’s Scheme.
* [http://www.theholisticcare.com/Pratyahar.htm Pratyahara and Yogic Sleep]
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