Our sensuality awakens our connection to the world & those around us as we experience them through our five senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, & hearing. Being an innately physical method of communication, we all too often get carried away in our own consumption & one after another, we reactively bounce our attention, thoughts, & focus from visual & sensory stimuli as we go about living our days in the physical world. In our pratyahara practice, we allow our minds to become silent by withdrawing from our senses that often otherwise pull us towards the accumulation of things as driven by our ego mind. Pratyahara creates the space & stillness for us to identify those attachments that distract & distance us from our own felt truths. Using our internal awareness, we explore our bodies with the aim to understand & eliminate any unnecessary or invalid attachments that we may have previously acquired & are continuing to influence or cloud our awareness & perception.
The benefits of short-term perceptual isolation, that is, reducing or eliminating any sensory input, may include improved focus, mood, & creativity & decreased pain, anxiety, & stress. Essentially, by turning down the sensory input, we eliminate any perceived threats, thereby allowing our bodies to turn down the survival-oriented sympathetic nervous system, decreasing the production of the stress hormone cortisol, & instead channel the “rest & digest” parasympathetic nervous system. Again here, we use the tool of the body, or more specifically, restrict the body’s ability to perceive via our senses, thereby targeting that non-tangible influences on our consciousness. Pratyahara allows our our body & mind a deep rest leaving us feeling refreshed, relaxed, rejuvenated & often with an increased sense of clarity when we return to our senses. Our intention in this practice is to notice the thought attached to the emotion & ask ourselves if it’s real, valid & true, & if it applies in the present context & situation.