Withdrawal of the Senses: Practicing Yoga Blindfolded

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In yoga philosophy, Pratyahara – translated as removal of the senses, is designed to take us from the outside to the inside, a journey for the yogi to find the Self. How about removing your ability to see? It is one thing to close your eyes during a practice, yet to actually remove the choice of opening them is a completely different matter.

Practicing yoga with your eyes blindfolded has a huge impact on the rest of your senses. You’ll feel your balance being challenged as you remove visual references and you’ll also feel the rest of your senses become deepened and refined. Another benefit is a renewed sense of gratitude. We often take simple things—like our ability to appreciate beautiful images, light, movement and action through our eyesight—for granted.

Give it a go and see for yourself what benefits arise from the removal of one of your senses. With a scarf or sleep mask, cover your eyes. Take a moment to simply get accustomed to the idea of not having the choice to open your eyes during your practice. Allow for any feelings of anxiety or fear as you adapt to this big change. Calm any sense of panic by drawing your attention to your breath and feeling the solid earth beneath your feet. Feel the difference in the air, the space filling the room. Use the rest of your senses: hearing, taste, touch and smell, and remind yourself that you can always feel for the edges of your mat if you need to regain your bearings.

Practicing blindfolded is a time to take your asana practice a little slower and use a simpler sequence, in order to go deeper within. The present moment will be magnified and you will tune deeper into your breath, feeling and hearing the sensations of your body moving. You will notice that the need for focus and presence is much greater than usual. If your mind shifts or wanders at all from the present, you’ll feel lost. You may also recognize yourself seeking for external approval by checking what others are doing or looking for visual references. Use this as an opportunity to find approval from within yourself. After all, the purpose of the practice of yoga is to connect to your deeper self; to trust yourself and feel a sense of renewed confidence from within; to realize that the answers lie within.

Enjoy the experiment and use this as an exercise to adapt to change, to become more grateful for the smaller or invisible aspects of your life. Notice the qualities and attributes that arise during the practice and what effects you feel at the end. Take this as an opportunity to feel grateful for the simple things in life, the ability you have to see, to appreciate beauty.



Archetypal Moon Energy; a Lunar Love Ritual

woman in heart shape cave moon

The moon cycles possess archetypal energies that offer women deeper insight into her own natural rhythms and how her divine flow guides her to have greater control over her mental and emotional well-being as well as harness the full potential of her creativity, strength, and nourishment. A woman who becomes consciously aware of her connection to the moon’s influence through her womb can begin to intentionally craft her life’s events in a way that will bring her the results she truly desires. Practice this Lunar Love Ritual to align with these archetypal energies and receive the full power of their guidance.

The 4 Archetypes of the Moon

It’s quite common for women to menstruate and ovulate in sync with the moon cycle. Since there is no evidence of women possessing greater or lesser health whether their menstrual cycles sync with the moon or not, please do not get too attached to these or allow them to mean something about your identity or worth as an individual. These are simply here to act as a framework to help guide you into an exploration of yourself.

A woman’s menstrual cycle is around the same length as the 28-day moon cycle, give or take a few days. There are two types of women depending on when they ovulate and menstruate – a white moon woman and a red moon woman. A white moon woman, which is the more common of the two types, will menstruate around the darkness of the new moon and ovulate with the full light of the full moon. A red moon woman will menstruate with the full light of the full moon and ovulate with the darkness of the new moon.

Depending on how our cycle aligns with the four moon phases – new moon, waxing moon, full moon, and waning moon – there are four archetypal energies that we can use as a guide to feel more in tune with our natural rhythms and those of the moon. Although the new moon is the start of a new cycle, for the purpose and ease of learning here, we will start with the virgin phase which corresponds to the waxing moon.

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