If you push somebody towards good health, like eating right, working out etc, it never works in the long run. Maybe the enthusiasm or guilt might make that individual walk in the right path for a month or couple of months but after that there is a rain of excuses as to why they cannot continue. The favorite and the most common one being “I don’t have time.” Seriously no time to even eat right??? Well that’s the way it is…
What separates us from animals or lets say what makes us supreme… Our IQ. Our ability to think, to decide etc. Then why do we cover ourselves under the thick blankets of sloth and ignorance…. This happens when we lock our consciousness.
While discussing food habits, emotional stability and workout routines, I often hear this in the end “I know this is right but….” The moment the BUT comes into the sentence, the only and the first way out for that individual to get healthy is to connect to his/her consciousness. When we back our decisions with our consciousness, it becomes a routine and in no time develops into a habit.
This means that we should link our physical self to our intellect. So that when the mind makes a conscious decision the body obeys it. This process is called Pratyahara. The fifth step in the Eight Fold Path of Ashtanga Yoga. This is followed with dharna, dhayan and samadhi.
One way of practicing pratyahara is to make the mind control the five senses. All the distractions like wanting to eat more, or eat something only to please our taste buds, wanting to sleep more under the comfort of the warm quilt in an ac room or just being the couch potato infront of the television etc happens due to the distractions on our five senses. Wrong desires manifest as they manipulate our sense of sight, taste, touch, smell and hearing.
In pratyahara the main aim is to control these five senses by giving the reins in the hands of the mind. So your mind is the chariot driver that controls these five horses (the senses). Without him the all the five horses would run in different directions resulting in more distractions, disappointments, indulgence etc… Ultimately loss of will and strength to stay on track.
One of the symbolical representation of this process is through Yoni Mudra. Yoni means the womb. When the fetus is inside the womb, it is cut away from all the distraction. Similarly in this mudra we remind our mind to control these five senses by symbolically touching our senses with our finger tips. Once in the mudra, one should go inward by concentrating on the breathing. Making the mind the master by focusing and directing the senses only on our breathing pattern. As we do that we link our intellect to our physical body with the factor that our life depends on , our breath…..
So bridge your physical self to your consciousness and stay on the path of health……