Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – October 2021 – Pratyahara (Withdrawal of Senses) – Guided Meditation

Good Morning Yogis! We have completed our daily positive practices and meditations inspired by the first four Limbs of Yoga, and are back to the Upper Limbs. We are also in the middle of a month focused on meditation for October. We typically spend more time practicing the lower limbs, but during meditation months we will take couple days to cover each of the four upper limbs, rather than combining into one meditation day.

cool shot of alpine dirt road with fresh snowfall in the mountains with darkened green pine trees and sunlit clouds under the moon - upper limbs of yoga pratyahara withdrawal of senses go within peace within Quote: Peace is a sacred space within, it is the temple of our internal landscape. We are free to visit it, whenever we seek sanctuary. Underneath the chaos of everyday living, peace is patiently awaiting our discovery... go within. - Jaeda DeWalt
Peace is a sacred space within, it is the temple of our internal landscape. We are free to visit it, whenever we seek sanctuary. Underneath the chaos of everyday living, peace is patiently awaiting our discovery… go within. – Jaeda DeWalt

As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the previous limbs, and sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and therefore must truly be attained on your own. We will take the next few days in our Meditation-focused month for daily practices inspired by the first three Upper Limbs. Today we will revisit the 5th Limb of Yoga – Pratyahara and try a Pratyahara Guided Meditation.

Pratyahara is the 5th Limb of Yoga, and is usually translated as withdrawal of the senses. “Prati” means against or away, and “Ahara” means food or anything we take into ourselves. So, this literally means to stop taking things into ourselves. This is typically the first step for meditation – letting the outside world slip away, and going inside. The point is not about isolating yourself from outside distractions, it is about withdrawing into yourself, and then allowing outside distractions to fade away. Please see our detailed discussion on Pratyahara for more.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Pratyahara-focused Meditation Practice. You can try this with Shavasana / corpse pose after an Asana practice, with a guided meditation, or on your own.. whatever feels right to you! Remember this is a practice, and a difficult one.. so be patient with yourself on this journey!

Pratyahara Guided Meditation

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Please comment and let me know which you tried, and what you thought of this Pratyahara Meditation! If you have another favorite, then please share the link! Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – September 2021 – Pratyahara (Withdrawal of Senses) – Guided Meditation

Good Morning Yogis! We have completed our daily positive practices and meditations inspired by the first four Limbs of Yoga, and are back to the Upper Limbs. We are also ending a September Asana-focused month of practices, and moving on to a month focused on meditation for October. We typically spend more time practicing the lower limbs, but during meditation months we will take couple days to cover each of the four upper limbs, rather than combining into one.

close-up bright plant leaves with bright deep red new center leaves - upper limbs of yoga pratyahara withdrawal of senses Quote: The moment the senses start turning inward, we are tapping into the eternal source of energy. - Gurudev Shankar
The moment the senses start turning inward, we are tapping into the eternal source of energy. – Gurudev Shankar

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For our more meditative day today, I recommend a gentle morning Hatha class, perhaps before trying out this new technique!

As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the previous limbs, and sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and therefore must truly be attained on your own. We will take the next few days in our Meditation-focused month for daily practices inspired by the first three Upper Limbs. Today we will revisit the 5th Limb of Yoga – Pratyahara and try a Pratyahara Guided Meditation.

Pratyahara is the 5th Limb of Yoga, and is usually translated as withdrawal of the senses. “Prati” means against or away, and “Ahara” means food or anything we take into ourselves. So, this literally means to stop taking things into ourselves. This is typically the first step for meditation – letting the outside world slip away, and going inside. The point is not about isolating yourself from outside distractions, it is about withdrawing into yourself, and then allowing outside distractions to fade away. Please see our detailed discussion on Pratyahara for more.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Pratyahara-focused Meditation Practice. You can try this with Shavasana / corpse pose after an Asana practice, with a guided meditation, or on your own.. whatever feels right to you! Remember this is a practice, and a difficult one.. so be patient with yourself on this journey!

Pratyahara Guided Meditation

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Please comment and let me know which you tried, and what you thought of this Pratyahara Meditation! If you have another favorite, then please share the link! Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 28 – 2021 – Body Scanning Meditation

Good morning Yogis! We are at the end of our special Upper Limbs week and special bonus daily meditation month, and will close with one final special meditation practice. Next month we will have a new special feature – stay tuned for tomorrow!

cool perspective decordova sculpture garden shot of gray twisting abstract sculpture with background of grassy field under shade of green leafy trees - body scanning meditation Quote: The body scan is not for everybody, and it is not always the meditation of choice even for those who love it. But it is extremely useful and good to know about and practice from time to time, whatever your circumstances or condition. - Jon Kabat-Zinn
The body scan is not for everybody, and it is not always the meditation of choice even for those who love it. But it is extremely useful and good to know about and practice from time to time, whatever your circumstances or condition. – Jon Kabat-Zinn

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a body scanning meditation. You can try in Shavasana after Asana practice, or on its own. I usually start at my toes, and gradually tighten and relax each body part, then re-scan starting again at my toes.

More Body Scan Meditations

Body Scanning Guided Meditation (15 minutes)

Pratyahara Guided Meditation

Body Scan Instructions and more info

Please comment to share your experience or any favorite body scan practices. Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 19 – 2021 – Pratyahara – Withdrawal of Senses – Guided Meditation

Good Morning Yogis! We have completed our daily positive practices and meditations inspired by the first four Limbs of Yoga, and are back to the Upper Limbs. We are also in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for June. We typically spend more time practicing the lower limbs, but during meditation months we will take couple days to cover each of the four upper limbs, rather than combining into one.

As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the previous limbs, and sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and therefore must truly be attained on your own. We will take the next few days in our Meditation-focused month for daily practices inspired by the first three Upper Limbs. Today we will revisit the 5th Limb of Yoga – Pratyahara and try a Pratyahara Guided Meditation.

Pratyahara is the 5th Limb of Yoga, and is usually translated as withdrawal of the senses. “Prati” means against or away, and “Ahara” means food or anything we take into ourselves. So, this literally means to stop taking things into ourselves. This is typically the first step for meditation – letting the outside world slip away, and going inside. The point is not about isolating yourself from outside distractions, it is about withdrawing into yourself, and then allowing outside distractions to fade away. Please see our detailed discussion on Pratyahara for more.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Pratyahara-focused Meditation Practice. You can try this with Shavasana / corpse pose after an Asana practice, with a guided meditation, or on your own.. whatever feels right to you! Remember this is a practice, and a difficult one.. so be patient with yourself on this journey!

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We have a bonus daily meditation challenge this month. Today I recommend trying this Pratyahara Guided Meditation perfect for Shavasana after your Asana practice.

Pratyahara Guided Meditation

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Please comment and let me know which you tried, and what you thought of this Pratyahara Meditation! If you have another favorite, then please share the link! Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 14 – 2021 – Pratyahara – Withdrawal of Senses – Guided Meditation

Good Morning Yogis! We have completed our daily positive practices and meditations inspired by the first four Limbs of Yoga, and are back to the Upper Limbs. We are also nearing the end of our bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for March. We typically spend more time practicing the lower limbs, so we will take couple days to cover the upper limbs, rather than combining into one.

close-up bright green succulents with grass-shoots and small potted plant - upper limbs of yoga pratyahara withdrawal of senses Quote: When the consciousness goes within by uncoupling from external objects, the senses also do so - this is Pratyahara. This results in the ultimate mastery over the senses. - Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
When the consciousness goes within by uncoupling from external objects, the senses also do so – this is Pratyahara. This results in the ultimate mastery over the senses. – Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the previous limbs, and sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and therefore must truly be attained on your own. We will take the next few days in our Meditation-focused month for daily practices inspired by the first three Upper Limbs. Today we will revisit the 5th Limb of Yoga – Pratyahara and try a Pratyahara Guided Meditation.

Pratyahara is the 5th Limb of Yoga, and is usually translated as withdrawal of the senses. “Prati” means against or away, and “Ahara” means food or anything we take into ourselves. So, this literally means to stop taking things into ourselves. This is typically the first step for meditation – letting the outside world slip away, and going inside. The point is not about isolating yourself from outside distractions, it is about withdrawing into yourself, and then allowing outside distractions to fade away. Please see our detailed discussion on Pratyahara for more.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Pratyahara-focused Meditation Practice. You can try this with Shavasana / corpse pose after an Asana practice, with a guided meditation, or on your own.. whatever feels right to you! Remember this is a practice, and a difficult one.. so be patient with yourself on this journey!

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We have a bonus daily meditation challenge for March. Today I recommend trying this Pratyahara Guided Meditation perfect for Shavasana after your Asana practice.

Pratyahara Guided Meditation

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Register for our email list!

Get easy access to the rest of the meditations in this series in your inbox

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Please comment and let me know which you tried, and what you thought of this Pratyahara Meditation! If you have another favorite, then please share the link! Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 10 – 2021 – Pratyahara – Withdrawal of Senses – Guided Meditation

Good Morning Yogis! We have completed our daily positive practices and meditations inspired by the first four Limbs of Yoga, and are back to the Upper Limbs. We are also in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for March. We typically spend more time practicing the lower limbs, so we will take couple days to cover each of the four upper limbs, rather than combining into one.

As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the previous limbs, and sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and therefore must truly be attained on your own. We will take the next few days in our Meditation-focused month for daily practices inspired by the first three Upper Limbs. Today we will revisit the 5th Limb of Yoga – Pratyahara and try a Pratyahara Guided Meditation.

Pratyahara is the 5th Limb of Yoga, and is usually translated as withdrawal of the senses. “Prati” means against or away, and “Ahara” means food or anything we take into ourselves. So, this literally means to stop taking things into ourselves. This is typically the first step for meditation – letting the outside world slip away, and going inside. The point is not about isolating yourself from outside distractions, it is about withdrawing into yourself, and then allowing outside distractions to fade away. Please see our detailed discussion on Pratyahara for more.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Pratyahara-focused Meditation Practice. You can try this with Shavasana / corpse pose after an Asana practice, with a guided meditation, or on your own.. whatever feels right to you! Remember this is a practice, and a difficult one.. so be patient with yourself on this journey!

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We have a bonus daily meditation challenge for March. Today I recommend trying this Pratyahara Guided Meditation perfect for Shavasana after your Asana practice.

Pratyahara Guided Meditation

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Get today’s Daily Yogi Positive Practice in your inbox
Register for our email list!

Get easy access to the rest of the meditations in this series in your inbox

Processing…
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Please comment and let me know which you tried, and what you thought of this Pratyahara Meditation! If you have another favorite, then please share the link! Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 9 – 2021– Breath-Focused Meditation

Good morning Yogis! We are wrapping up our special Upper Limbs week! Next month we will have a special bonus daily meditation month aligning with our 8 Limb Yoga practices, but this week we will cover special meditation practices.

per perspective bright blue partly cloudy sky with sun peeking from clouds over alpine valley with green pine trees and rocky mountains - meditation mindfulness Quote: One conscious breath in and out is meditation. - Eckhart Tolle
One conscious breath in and out is meditation. – Eckhart Tolle

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try the traditional Breath-Focused Meditation Practice. This traditional meditation method is supposed to bring you to Samadhi – from Dharana and into Dhyana. Meditation (particularly on my own with breathing and not a guided meditation or Dharana practice) has always been difficult for me personally, with my “monkey mind” but these methods below have worked for me!

Start sitting in a comfortable cross-legged position. Try to find a quiet, comfortable space. Relax and focus on your breath. Allow your belly to expand on each inhale, and contract to empty your lungs fully on each exhale. (Check our Pranayama section for more detail on diaphragmatic breathing).

Notice any outside distractions such as wind or noises from the street, and try to allow them to fade into the background as you calmly turn your focus inwards. Notice any inside distractions coming from your mind, as our inner world/voice is typically used to running wild on auto-pilot. Calmly allow these passing thoughts to fade, and turn your attention back to your breath. 

Start working towards calming your mind. Focus on counting to 10 with your breath. Inhale 1, exhale 2, inhale 3, exhale 4, and continue to 10. If you notice your thoughts wandering, gently let them go, turn your attention back to your breath, and begin again with 1 on your next inhale.

Or, if you prefer more than numbers for your focus, try thinking to yourself “inhale peace and relaxation” each inhale, and “exhale stress and tension” each exhale. Many Yogis enjoy guided meditations to help focus.

Want more on Meditation?
Check our Meditation Board on Pinterest!

Please comment and let me know what you thought of this meditation exercise! If you meditate, how long do you typically meditate for and how frequently? Do you have another meditation technique or guided meditation you particularly enjoy? Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 7 – Pratyahara – Withdrawal of Senses – Guided Meditation

Good Morning Yogis! We have completed our daily positive practices and meditations inspired by the first four Limbs of Yoga, and are back to the Upper Limbs. We are also in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October’s Emotional Wellness Month. As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the previous limbs, and sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and therefore must truly be attained on your own. We will take the next few days in our Meditation-focused month for daily practices inspired by the first three Upper Limbs. Today we will discuss the 5th Limb of Yoga – Pratyahara and try a Pratyahara Guided Meditation.

Pratyahara is the 5th Limb of Yoga, and is usually translated as withdrawal of the senses. “Prati” means against or away, and “Ahara” means food or anything we take into ourselves. So, this literally means to stop taking things into ourselves. This is typically the first step for meditation – letting the outside world slip away, and going inside. The point is not about isolating yourself from outside distractions, it is about withdrawing into yourself, and then allowing outside distractions to fade away. Please see our detailed discussion on Pratyahara for more.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Pratyahara-focused Meditation Practice. You can try this with Shavasana / corpse pose after an Asana practice, with a guided meditation, or on your own.. whatever feels right to you! Remember this is a practice, and a difficult one.. so be patient with yourself on this journey!

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We have a bonus daily meditation challenge for October. Today I recommend trying this Pratyahara Guided Meditation perfect for Shavasana after your Asana practice.

Pratyahara Guided Meditation

Get today’s Daily Yogi Positive Practice in your inbox
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Get easy access to the rest of the meditations in this series in your inbox

Processing…
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Please comment and let me know which you tried, and what you thought of this Pratyahara Meditation! If you have another favorite, then please share the link! Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 2 – Pratyahara – Withdrawal of Senses

Good Morning Yogis! As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the previous limbs, and sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and must truly be attained on your own. I had a question about differences in these levels of meditation. Since this is very heavy philosophy, we will spread these out and discuss each level in detail on our days dedicated to the upper limbs.

Pratyahara is the 5th Limb of Yoga, and is usually translated as withdrawal of the senses. “Prati” means against or away, and “Ahara” means food or anything we take into ourselves. So this literally means to stop taking things into ourselves. This is typically the first step for meditation – letting the outside world slip away, and going inside.

Please keep in mind that Pratyahara is not about finding a perfectly quiet area to meditate… I live in a remote area in the mountains of Colorado, where the silence was at first deafening after moving from Peachtree Street in Atlanta. However, it is never truly quiet here! Whether the wind is blowing, birds or marmots are chirping, dirt bikes and ATVs are zipping around, or the nearby creek is raging, there is ALWAYS some kind of distraction. Again, the point is not about isolating yourself from these distractions, it is about withdrawing into yourself, and allowing outside distractions to fade away.

Shavasana, or corpse pose, is one of the first ways many new Yogis (including myself!) experience Pratyahara. Yoga Instructors allow a quiet space at the end of class to encourage us to allow our bodies and minds to fade away. There are also guided meditations to encourage this. Or, if you are practiced with meditation, this is typically your first step before moving into a deep meditation.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Pratyahara-focused Meditation Practice. You can try this with Shavasana / corpse pose after an Asana practice, with a guided meditation, or on your own.. whatever feels right to you! Remeber this is a practice, and a difficult one.. so be patient with yourself on this journey!

Calming Asana close with long Shavasana

Pratyahara Guided Meditation

Please comment and let me know which you tried, and what you thought of this Pratyahaha exercise! If you have another favorite, please share the link! Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Intro – Meditation

Daily Yogi - brown tree trunk and green leaves showing upper and lower Limbs of Yoga - Yamas, Niyamas, Asanas, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Ishvara Pranidhana
Limbs of Yoga – Yamas, Niyamas, Asanas, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Ishvara Pranidhana

The last 4 limbs of yoga build upon all 4 of the previous limbs, and sequentially upon each other. These are:

5 – Pratyahara – Withdrawal of the Senses

6 – Dharana – Intense Focus

7 – Dhyana – Full Meditation

8 – Samadhi – Enlightenment

You will notice these practices are all meditation focused. As mentioned, they build upon each other. Unfortunately, these later limbs are individual practice focused, and not all Yogis decide to pursue them on their journeys. Please do share your experiences and tips with the community, but we will let you discover these when you are ready and on your own.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try this Breath-Focused Meditation Practice. Meditation has always been difficult for me personally, with my “monkey mind” but these methods below have worked for me! If you have wanted to begin a Daily Meditation Practice, I recommend starting at 5 minutes, working up to 10 minutes, and consider increasing up to 30 minutes at your own pace. Personally, I meditate for 10-15 minutes at most in the morning to get centered for the day.

Start sitting in a comfortable cross-legged position. Try to find a quiet, comfortable space. Relax and focus on your breath. Allow your belly to expand on each inhale, and contract to empty your lungs fully on each exhale. (Check our Pranayama section for more detail on diaphragmatic breathing).

Notice any outside distractions such as wind or noises from the street, and try to allow them to fade into the background as you calmly turn your focus inwards. Notice any inside distractions coming from your mind, as our inner world/voice is typically used to running wild on auto-pilot. Calmly allow these passing thoughts to fade, and turn your attention back to your breath. 

Start working towards calming your mind. Focus on counting to 10 with your breath. Inhale 1, exhale 2, inhale 3, exhale 4, and continue to 10. If you notice your thoughts wandering, gently let them go, turn your attention back to your breath, and begin again with 1 on your next inhale.

Or, if you prefer more than numbers for your focus, try thinking to yourself “inhale peace and relaxation” each inhale, and “exhale stress and tension” each exhale. Many Yogis enjoy guided meditations to help focus.

Want more on Meditation?
Check our Meditation Board on Pinterest!

Please comment and let me know what you thought of this meditation exercise! If you meditate, how long do you typically meditate for and how frequently? Do you have another meditation technique or guided meditation you particularly enjoy? Always remember, be kind!

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