Pratyahara – Withdrawal From The Senses


Pratyahara (withdrawal from the senses) is where the inner circle of the Yogic practice begins.

As Asana’s help us to start with Pranayama, so is Pranayama aiding us in Pratyahara. Asana is a steady physical posture, Pranayama is the harmony of the prana(life force/energy) by proper manipulation of the breath. Pratyahara is the withdrawal of the powers of senses from their respective objects. Yogi controls the senses through the practice of pratyahara. If we look back at the aim of Yoga we will understand the reason for Pratyahara. Why restrain the senses at-all ?

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Yoga is the path to the realization of the universal, one needs to be attuned to the cosmic. The sense act as hindrances in the pathway. While the individual tries to unite itself with the universal, the senses try to separate it. The main activity of the sense is to provide reason that there is world outside, while Yoga analysis affirms that there is nothing outside the universal. This is why most people find difficulty in Dhyana (contemplation). The senses do not keep quiet when there is an attempt to meditate. They rather work as distractions through our various senses. The senses try to create differences between the seer and the seen, however there is no difference between the individual and the universal. For example the senses in the dreaming state produce the illusion of an external world which is not there ‘outside’. This means we are seeing things even if they are not. Subsequently, this is what is happening to most of us at most of the times even during the waking state, the same rule of perception, the same experiential structure.

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