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Yoga has some very unique techniques, one of them being the Pratyahara. Yoga and meditation are important parts of Indian culture and are also widely practiced all over the world.

Moreover, we all know that how vast the system of Yoga is and what benefits it holds.

Basically, it’s a set of spiritual practices that eventually provides the tools for our inner growth.


Yoga teaches us how to understand the different aspects of our nature. Apart from it, it also shows us to create harmony with the greater universe within and around us.

This amazing inner science phenomenon shows us how to realize our highest evolutionary potential, bringing calmness, peace, and serenity to life. 

How do you explain pratyahara?

Pratyahara” literally means “withdrawal of the senses.” The word has a Sanskrit origin and the two root Sanskrit words of pratyahara are prati, and ahara.


The words mean “to withdraw,” and “food;” respectively. In this particular case, food obviously refers to the external stimuli that your mind responds to.

What does Pratyahara mean?     

The classical yoga system is also known as the ashtanga yoga incorporates eight limbs.

And, definitely, each one has its own place and function but together they unravel a system of spirituality.

The eight limbs are of the Ashtanga yoga are: 

  • yama (observances)
  • niyama (disciplines)
  • asana (postures)
  • pranayama (breath control)
  • pratyahara (control of senses)
  • Dharana (concentration)
  • dhyana (meditation), and samadhi (absorption). 

If we say that out of these eight limbs, pratyahara is probably the least known, we won’t be wrong.

Because surely many people in today’s world don’t know what it actually is. Pratyahara basically is the fifth limb of Yoga in the eight-limbed path.

It is the least known but the most important one as it serves as a foundation for meditation.

It signifies the ability to disengage your mind by controlling yourself and your reactions to external disturbances.

It doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to sense the external stimulation. Your five senses will still detect those external stimulations.

Instead, it won’t allow it to disrupt your state of mind. 

Pratyahara yoga:

Yoga has an external perspective, which comprises of the right living, right consideration of the body, and improvement of fundamental energy.

This is the thing that yama, niyama, asana, and pranayama are about.

Yama and niyama assemble an establishment of right conduct through such qualities as peacefulness and honesty and such practices as neatness and satisfaction.

Asana makes the body solid and adaptable, and pranayama fosters our fundamental energy.

Furthermore, Yoga additionally has an internal aspect which is the contemplation or the improvement of higher awareness.

This is the genuine motivation behind Yoga, the focal point of Dharana, dhyana, and samadhi, which together structure a solitary cycle of samyama or contemplation in the broadest sense. 

Pratyahara involves a focal spot of eight limbs. Some incorporate it among the external parts of Yoga, others with the internal angles.

Both are somewhat right as pratyahara is the way into the connection between the external and inward parts of Yoga.

The majority of us can’t move straightforwardly from asana to meditation and contemplation. This requires bouncing from the body to the brain, failing to remember what lies between.

To make this progress, the breath, and faculties, which connect the body and psyche, should first be managed and grown appropriately.

This is the place where pranayama and pratyahara come in. With pranayama, we control our imperative energies and driving forces.

With pratyahara, we gain authority over the raucous faculties as these are the two essentials to effective contemplation.

Types of pratyahara

Four types of pratyahara permit you to completely encounter its advantages. 

Indriya pratyahara

To establish the best climate for the unwinding and relaxation of the mind.

Kendriya pratyahara centers around withdrawal from the outer stimuli and boosts your experience utilizing the five senses of hearing, taste, smell, sense, sight, and contact.

To pull out from the senses, focus on your regular breathing example or direct your concentration toward a chakra. 

Prana pratyahara: 

When rehearsing pratyahara, it’s vital to control your prana.

Prana is the widespread energy streaming all through the body, so you can try not to concentrate a lot of that energy on your senses.

Karma pratyahara: 

This is the control of activity. Karma pratyahara is tied in with giving up all activities of individual compensation for acting in support of humankind or the heavenly.

You can rehearse this through karma yoga, which instructs that want is boundless and bliss is achievable when it isn’t appended to the results of your activities. 

Mano pratyahara: 

This last sort of pratyahara is the withdrawal of the brain.

At the point when you practice mano pratyahara, you pull out from outside stimuli, yet you effectively control your response to it and divert your consideration inwards.

Pratyahara meditation:

Large numbers of us observe that even following quite a while of meditation practice, we have not accomplished all that we anticipated.

Attempting to rehearse meditation without some level of pratyahara is similar to attempting to accumulate water in a cracked vessel.

Regardless of how much water we acquire, it streams out once more. And, our five senses resemble openings in the vessel of the brain.

Except if they are fixed the brain can’t hold the nectar of truth. Anybody whose times of meditation substitute with times of tangible extravagance needs pratyahara. 

Pratyahara offers numerous techniques for setting up the psyche for contemplation and meditation.

It additionally assists us with staying away from natural aggravations that are the wellspring of mental agony.

Pratyahara is a heavenly instrument for assuming responsibility for our lives and opening up to our internal being.

It is no big surprise that some yogis have called it “the main limb of yoga.”

Pratyahara techniques

While you are in the Shavasana, here are the 5 simple steps of the Pratyahara. 

Start with the Sight/Eyes as they are the most dominant sense. 

  • Lightly close your eyes and then lift the upper eyelid so slightly. It shouldn’t press against the lower lid.
  • Although, it’s quite difficult because when you lift the upper eyelid, you can easily tense the forehead. 
  • But, do not tense the forehead. 
  • Now, slightly lift the outer edges of the eye toward the temple to avoid forehead tensing. 
  • Now that your eyelids are in position and you are aware of lightness around the eyes, roll the pupil downwards like looking towards the heart.
  • Make sure that there is no straining. 
  • Don’t move the eyes once in position. 

Move to the Taste/Tongue. 

  • Loosen up the jaw. 
  • Allow the tongue to drop away from the sense of taste. 
  • Try not to keep the tongue down. The tongue tip settles delicately behind the lower teeth. 
  • Loosen up the sides of the mouth, allowing the corners to liquefy downwards toward the jawbone. 

Now, move to Nose/Smell. 

  • Carry your attention to the root of the nose or the bridge of the nose. 
  • It doesn’t take long to unwind here; simply centering consideration at the nose’s root appears to loosen up the feeling of smell. 

Do the Ears/Sound.

  • Here we loosen up the inward ear. 
  • Pay attention to the upper edges of your cheekbones. 
  • Permit the cheekbone to dissolve down toward the ear cartilage, which in Shavasana is the most minimal piece of your face. 
  • You will feel your inward ear let go of strain. 

Last but not least, Skin/Touch.

As we all know that Skin is the biggest receptor and this progression of Pratyahara helps you to loosen up your face. 

  • Envision a line in the focal point of your face. It starts at your hairline and partitions your brow fifty-fifty.
  • The focal point of your nose. The focal point of your upper lip. The focal point of your lower lip.
  • The focal point of your jawline. The focal point of your neck. 
  • Presently partition your face into upper and lower quadrants by defining a fanciful boundary around 1/8 inch over your eyebrows. 
  • Delicately move the skin of your brow to the upper quadrants–from the middle line to the sanctuaries. 
  • Permit the skin of the upper quadrants to pool at the sanctuary. 
  • Now, pay attention to the middle line of the lower quadrants of your face. 
  • Move the skin from the middle line to your lower ear cartilage. 

Some say, it’s superior to botox. Also, you will master the skill once you start practicing it for long periods.

It will take you less than a minute to complete once you get a hold of it.

What is the practice of pratyahara?

You can rehearse these pratyahara steps while rehearsing actual yoga presents, known as asana.

It’s typical for the brain to meander during asana, particularly assuming you are pondering whether you’re doing a posture accurately or then again if you should change to another posture.

Practice pratyahara by taking the energy you’re utilizing to ponder your treatment of the posture and turning that energy internal to focus on the actual posture.

Savasana, the last resting represent that closes numerous yoga meetings, is one more incredible freedom to rehearse pratyahara.

Which is the best example of pratyahara?   

Yogic pratyahara incorporates quieting asanas, alternate nostril breathing, and types of mindfulness, and directed or guided meditation.

One of the best illustrations and examples of yogic pratyahara is Shavasana—corpse pose. In Shavasana, the energy is removed from our five senses. 

Pratyahara Sadhguru

“If you want to sit still, just working on your body is not good enough – you have to work upon your mind too.”


Hence, you understand the importance of the Pratyahara and how it’s one of the most important aspects of Yoga. 


P. Baidyanath, a seasoned author, and spiritual guide, blends the realms of literature and mindfulness seamlessly. A Patna University graduate, Baidyanath honed the craft further by earning Creative Writing Distinction at Symbiosis University, Pune. The author of the acclaimed book 'Time Enrichment,' their insightful narratives resonate with readers deeply. Holding certifications as an NLP practitioner and mindfulness coach from Happiitude global tribe, Baidyanath's holistic approach is fortified by a decade-long journey exploring spiritualism, mindfulness, Buddhism, and Indian philosophy. Through their words and guidance, Baidyanath continues to illuminate paths of self-discovery and inner peace.

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