51 Days Yoga Consciousness Series 2nd May-21st June 2021
Namaste All My Yoga Yaatris! May Yog Bless You!
Knowledge of Yoga is infinite, boundless and timeless. “Learning Yoga is an everlasting journey that leads you within and Within is where you find the world of immortal bliss”. –Mitraasha
The idea behind running this 51 Days Yoga Consciousness series is to proffer my modest learnings and share the divine pearls of Yoga science with people at large. Let’s have a conjoint intent to learn, implement and extend the wisdom of Yoga with a positive co-action and harmonious reverberation amongst each other.
Today, I will be taking you through one of the very beautiful and beneficial Kriya that is beneficial in more than many ways.
Trataka – To Gaze
Initially practiced by Yogis in distinct ways, Trataka is a kriya which is not only favourable for the eyes but is also tremendously rewarding for improving one’s concentration.
The basal strong and direct connection between eye and mind which has been well recorded in many scientific studies, is very elemental to this technique. When a person with a disturbed mind is made to practice trataka, it proves helpful as all deflecting thoughts get diverted and focused on one non-wavering point of object. In trataka, which is literally interpreted as to gaze, the practitioner has to fix his/her eyes on particular object without moving the body and When we fix our gaze on a particular object, and stay in that position for as long as possible without moving the body. This leads to making the mind calm, focused, stable and ready for other practices. Over time and with continuous practice, digressing thoughts minimises, mind becomes focussed and this helps in managing all actions of life efficiently.
Classification of Trataka:
- Bahiranga Trataka- External Tratak: Uninterrupted gazing on a single object/ point as far as possible or until your eyes may drop tears.
- Antaranga Trataka- Internal Tratak Way-1: After elongated gazing at the object/point, when you close your eyes, and if you can still envision or picture in your mind, the image of the same object/point in front of you.
- Antaranga Trataka- Internal Tratak Way-2: In this technique, the focal point of your concentration is a part of your inner body like your 3rd eye, your heart chakra,etc.
Be Vigilant About:
Eyes being the most sensitive, valuable organ of the body and Trataka being an concentrated technique, it is suggested that this be done cautiously by blinking eyelids whenever you feel stiffness, and by beginning the practice for smaller duration and then eventually extending the time of gaze. It is a must to remember that all eye movements are non-jerky and never excessive. It is not advisable for young children to do Tratak.
Limitations / Contraindications:
Not commended for people with major eye ailments.
Techniques to be practised after completion of Trataka:
You can do either of them or both, after Trataka has been performed.
Cupping or Palming the Eyes:
Palming or cupping the eyes is usually done after meditation and prior to opening the eyes. It is also done after completing Trataka to ease the eyes after the eye efforts. To do this, slightly rub your palms to create some warmth and gently place them over your eyes in a way that they do not touch the eyes but form a cup-cover over them. Hold this posture for 5 to 10 seconds and repeat as per your requirement, although once or twice is sufficient to do.
Washing the Eyes with water:
It is always a refreshing feeling to wash eyes with water. And doing it after a tratak practice is specifically very rejuvenating to the worked out eyes. To do this, take some room temperature or slightly cold drinking water in one palm (thoroughly cleaned beforehand) and gently dip your eye into it for a few seconds. Keep blink the eye slowly a few times while it is immersed in the water. Repeat the same process with the other eye. When done, rinse and gently pat your face dry.
Types of Trataka:
Based on the type of object being focused upon, there are different types of Bahiranga Trataka:
- Dakshina and Vama Trataka: Focusing on the Left and Right Shoulder alternatively.
- Bhrumadhya and Nasikagra Trataka: Focusing in the Middle of the Eyebrows and Tip of the Nose alternatively.
- Trinetra Trataka: Focusing on your own Third Eye.
- Bindu Trataka: Focusing on a Single Black Dot.
- Vartul Trataka: Focusing on a Circle.
- Valay Trataka: Focusing on a Spiral Ring.
- Jyoti Trataka: Focusing on a Flame of a Lamp or a Candle.
- Murti Trataka: Focusing on an Idol.
- Surya Trataka: Focusing on Sun at Early Sunrise/Just Before Sunset and done within 5 minutes with proper guidance only.
- Chandra Trataka: Focusing on the moon.
- Tara Trataka: Focusing on the star.
- Graha Trataka: Focusing on a planet.
If you have chosen objects in the night sky, gaze at them as long as it is comfortable for you, but don’t do it in excess as it may harm your eyes if you are a novice with this kind of practice.
Here I will share in detail one of the Bahiranga Trataka/Object Gazing practice which is :
Jyoti Trataka – Candle Gazing
How to do it?
Keep a candle(or any object of your choice) about two to two and a half feet away from you in a way that it’s flame (or other object’s centre point) is just a bit lower than the level of your eyes. Although not extremely dark, it is suggested that the room is not blazingly lit. The point of focus must be as small and precise as possible.
Now, sit in any comfy/meditative pose on the floor or on a chair, with your head, body erect and hands rested on your knees or thighs.
For the candle flame to remain steady, make sure there is no excessive flow of air where you are seated.
Now Immovably and fixedly gaze at either the tip of the flame or the blue light where the wick and flame meet. If you have taken another object, select one point within the object to stare at.
Keep looking at the flame until either tears flow from your eyes or they become jaded and tired, but do not overdo it. Blinking the eyes is a natural defense work of the body, so let that happen and do not gaze unblinkingly for long.
Now close your eyes and try to imagine the object or it’s image within. When this image diminishes which may happen anywhere from a few seconds to a minute, cup or palm your eyes and gently open them.
This can be practiced once or twice a week.
Benefits of Trataka Kriya:
As the practice of Tratak works on the reciprocity between the eye and the mind, a huge benefit is seen in the optic region, it purifies the eyes and strengthens the eye muscles and helps to get rid of mild eye problems like short-sightedness. Regular practice of this kriyas has aided improvement to many practitioner’s eyesight.
Constant practice of Tratak enhances the mind’s concentration, ability to focus for extended periods and increases memory power. Relieves the problem of insomnia ,irregular sleep, tiredness, laziness and regularize daily healthy routine.
Many tratak practitioners have mentioned in their testimony that over a period of time and with regular practice, their potential to visualize, their intuitive potency and their will power expanded to a great level.
Trataka helps to calm down the ever busy and swaying mind. Continuous gazing at one object makes the brain habituated to that object in that practice, and gradually the alpha brain waves escalate and eventually the connection to the external world diminishes. Trataka initializes your inner potential and then there comes a point in the practice, where the mind becomes blank to all the thoughts and entirely shuts to an external habitat.
Thought of the day: “The future is to heal back to the mind again. Recognizing that the mind is all powerful-it controls every cell to every degree of its genetic expression.”- Bruce Lipton
Link to day 13 Neti: Types, Methods, Advantages https://kreately.in/day-13-neti-types-methods-advantages-mitraasha/
Link to day 15 Surya Namaskar- The Sun Salutation https://kreately.in/day-15-surya-namaskar-the-sun-salutation-mitraasha/
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