In our traditional Ashtanga Vinyasa Mysore program here at Meadowlark we observe the “moon days”. This means on the full and new moons we invite our community to take rest from our more regular practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga.
There are a variety of reasons for observing the rest days, and for many who practice daily (6 days per week) the extra rest and observation of fluctuations in one’s energy over periods of time is welcomed.
During these days we invite our community to focus on other areas of practice, including and not limited to prāṇāyāma, meditation, chanting, gentler āsana practice like yin yoga or Matthew Sweeney’s Chandra sequence. It also invites you to observe the attachment you may have to your ‘normal’ practice.
After advice from Hamish Hendry of Ashtanga Yoga London (who follows the Panchang Hindu Calendar for their Moon day scheduling) and carefully observing our sunrise times here in...
Pratyahara, or "sense withdrawal" (in short) is the 5th of the 8 limbs of yoga, but not regularly touched upon in yoga classes. This important study can have a huge effect on physical and mental states and is a tool used regularly in the practice of Ayurveda (a sister science to yoga). This often overlooked limb of yoga is also fundamental to a successful meditation practice... which I needn't tell you is one of life's great healing tools!
So... what exactly is it and would it be useful for me?
Simply, pratyahara is the withdrawing of our senses from negative environmental influences - food, impressions & associations. This covers what we nourish our bodies with (food), what we fuel our thoughts with (impressions) and who we spend our time with (associations).
If we can temporarily and effectively withdraw the senses from negative influences, we can tone and strengthen our senses to longer term immunity.
In Ayurveda, we believe that pratyahara has different...
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