Pratyahara: The Art of Sense Withdrawal
My yogi friends are always intrigued by floatation therapy and usually the first to easily understand the benefits of 90 minutes of deep relaxation. At its core, floatation therapy is the ultimate savasana. If you love your final resting pose, that’s all you need to hear, and you are sold. But if you’re like me, savasana is one of the most challenging postures. My mind is always racing. How much longer is this? My nose itches. What am I having for dinner tonight? But what that tells me is that I really NEED savasana. Savasana, like floating, is the ultimate act of conscious surrender. It takes practice and patience.
So why do we need this floating savasana? Floatation therapy calms the central nervous system and creates harmony between the mind and body. Our heart rate and breath slows; muscle aches ease; and tense shoulders and neck release. Anxiety is reduced as we’re flooded with a wave of dopamine and serotonin (our “happy” hormones), and our busy monkey brain gets a break from outside stimuli.
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We’re constantly bombarded with TV, radio, emails, social media, traffic, crowds and other stressors that our ancestors didn’t have to process and as a result, we’re under more stress than we’ve ever known. With the world moving so quickly, cultivating the art of stillness through meditation is more valuable than ever. So, how do we find this stillness?
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras outline the eight limbs of yoga as a guide on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life. The fifth limb, Pratyahara, or the withdrawal from senses, is about taking us from the outer world to the inner, and it’s one of the most important limbs. Pratyahara changes our state of mind so that we become so absorbed in what it is we’re focussing on that the things outside of ourselves no longer bother us, and we’re able to meditate without becoming easily distracted. The float tank helps us get there by offering a serene environment without distracting sights and sounds, or the constant and uncomfortable effects of gravity. It’s normal for the mind to resist this deep relaxation but after 20-25 minutes in the tank, floaters’ brain wave patterns appear very similar to those of experienced meditators. When we completely surrender to the float, amazing things can happen to our mind, body and soul.
Visit www.float8ion.com or call (754) 666-3588 with any questions or to book your float!