Week #22 – amazing! I hope that you have benefited from a few of Yoga Posts’ Year of Living Yogically Challenges. We are nearly half way there.
Since we have been focusing on the chakra system for a few weeks now, I think it is important to step back a little and look at where we started – from the lower three chakras; the root, sacrum and solar plexus. These energy levels have one thing in common, they hold our perceptions and represent the way that we experience our lives. They give us the roots, the inspiration and the drive to ascend.
On week #19 we acknowledged the important anahata or heart chakra – our connection between the lower and upper chakras. This chakra generates the passion that can send us to new heights.
Now as we get ready to climb the chakra ladder to its highest rungs, there are a few preparations to take.
Understand the purpose of the upper three chakras.
The throat, the third eye and the crown chakra are the more esoteric centers. They create our spiritual essence – our expressions of what we are. They are not involved with material matters and only work with our deepest levels of expression.
Practice pratyahara or sense withdrawal.
This is the fifth limb of the yoga system. It means to withdrawal your senses. Like a turtle that retracts inside of its shell, your practice of pratyahara will teach you to go inside yourself and retreat from the external “noises” that exist around you: the opinions, the interruptions, the distractions, the associations, the influences. Once you can detach from this commotion, you can be free to choose the sensations that you wish to bring into your field of awareness. The practice of pratyahara will enable you to see things as they truly are as you ascend the chakra ladder.
Your challenge this week is to practice these techniques of pratyahara:
1.) Take a Media Fast. Spend some time each day away from sensory input. Turn off the t.v, the computer, the phone, put aside music and books. Sit quietly and allow your mind to rest for 30 minutes or so.
2. ) Take a Real Savasana. Set a timer for 20 minutes. Wrap a blanket around your head to form a nest so that the ends of the blanket cover your ears. Use a washcloth or an eyebag to cover your eyes.
After either technique, find one thing to focus on: the blue sky, the red rocks (only in Sedona, of course) or a field or garden of flowers if you have them. These simple and positive images will be a refreshing change for your mind.