The recovery that is possible through Ayurveda and Yoga is remarkable. As our guest found, making simple adjustments in what we eat, how we live and where we put our focus is enough to make a person find a new experience of being alive. Often times we do little more than remove what is getting in the way of health and inner peace. This allows us to use the senses wisely and start a journey to true health.
Learning to manage the senses
The five senses of taste, touch, smell, sight, hearing are gifts to us. They are here to serve us so that we can experience life. But life is not limited to the earthly plane. When we misuse the senses, we believe that what we take in through these experiences is all that matters.
Disease and the misuse of the senses
When the senses go unchecked, they drag us around in life. If you have ever had a moment where you wanted to say “no” but your senses demanded you say “yes,” you experienced your senses taking over your decisions. As a result, you may act compulsively, taking in harmful foods and experiences, which leads to dosha imbalance and ama (toxins). As you grow more disconnected from yourself as eternal spirit, life becomes an exhausting search for fulfillment outside. Loud music, chemically-created fragrances, misuse of sexual energy and browsing social media all day draw your attention outward and have you forget your true nature. This is the direction of disease and disharmony, but the Yoga practices of pratyahara are the remedy.
Pratyahara: Withdrawing the senses
Tools to cultivate pratyahara
Meditation is one of the best tools to cultivate pratyahara because sitting down to meditate requires you to draw your senses inward. Meditating, even for a few minutes each day, plants the seed of pratyahara inside you. It trains your mind and senses to turn inward and become a tool for your connection to spirit to grow.