I keep in mind changing into obsessive about the idea of pratyahara, or “withdrawal or the senses,” in my first readings of the Yoga Sutras in my early twenties. Not sure of myself and of my means on this planet, I wandered the streets of New York Metropolis searching for one thing, something, to fill me up. Typically it was a brand new classic coat, a brand new music launch at Virgin Data, a brand new flirtation, or some yummy new dessert. Missing self-discipline, I needed to actually style all the things, and but I nonetheless felt empty.

Looking for self-discipline and craving for true fullness (might there presumably be such a factor?) I started to know my power expenditure in another way. I practiced “withdrawing my senses” by means of slicing the wire of my rampant participation in client tradition to be able to get actual with what was occurring inside. I finished watching TV, bought actual with myself concerning meals consumption, and stopped spending my cash on CDs and garments.

“By way of [yoga] observe, prana begins to awaken…”

Then got here the laborious work of going through my deeper struggling. For beneath my habits of consumption I famous a distinct sort of power expenditure: obsessive considering that gave method to persistent self-devaluation. I assumed I used to be missing, and so I skilled myself as needing to be “full” from one thing else.

That’s now not the case. I did the deep dive, and from working towards yoga for a few years, I’ve had the expertise of getting extra power accessible to me every day than I ever skilled in my “youth.”

As Ayurvedic guru David Frawley writes, “By way of [yoga] observe, prana begins to awaken…” This prana is life power, and it “has an intelligence inside it that may train us and information us,” he says. If we respect this intelligence, we can be led alongside a path the place we intuitively make investments our power in actions that profit us. However we should take care not to make use of this treasured life drive in ways in which would deplete us, David warns. It’s simply executed.

Final week, I used to be impressed when a affected person within the psychiatric unit the place I work as a drama therapist described their melancholy as akin to feeling like “an empty pot the place there was once gold cash.” The affected person found by means of our drama remedy work that they’d “spent” their power giving to others of their position as helper, lover, and sibling. They felt depleted.

So collectively we created a theatrical enactment the place we checked out the place the “gold cash” had been spent. We positioned them again into the elements of the affected person’s life that felt unfulfilled and empty, and we visualized how these elements of their life would develop if given nurture, steering, and care. For a second, the affected person was capable of expertise new potentialities for self-care, and have become conscious of a deeper company accessible by way of how they used their power.

Whether or not you feel bodily, emotionally, or spiritually depleted, or just wish to glean perception into how you’re investing and utilizing your power, you could profit from the train we did collectively. This may be executed alone or with one other particular person as a witness or helper.

Redistributing the Wealth

1. Take about 30 quarters, checker items, or the rest that reminds you of gleaming gold cash.

2. Start by asking your self this query: What elements of my life have I been investing with essentially the most power? Get as particular as potential. Identify each out loud.

3. Upon getting named the totally different points of your life that really feel related, designate a spot within the room to signify every side. For instance, one nook of the room may signify “household” and one other nook may signify “job.” Place the variety of cash that you just really feel you spend in every of the totally different points of your life within the bodily areas you mapped out. Keep in mind, you solely have 30 items of gold, so be trustworthy about your investments!

4. Examine every funding intimately. Go to the a part of the room that represents every side, and start to talk out loud about that individual funding. For instance, if “job” is without doubt one of the investments, communicate in regards to the position you play at work, your particular job duties, and the way it’s that you’re utilizing your power throughout the work setting. Turn out to be conscious of any emotions and feelings that come up as you communicate. If, for instance, you give a variety of power to your boss, discover the emotional response you may have if you discuss her or him.

5. When you’ve investigated every side of your life, take a second to take a look at the distribution of gold cash across the room. Use the following a number of moments to redistribute the cash in any means you select. You might place them in several areas you may have created, or you could possibly create a completely new place some other place within the room. If you wish to withdraw cash from one space, however don’t know the place you wish to put them, maintain onto them for now.

6. Take a number of moments to talk about the way you envision reinvesting the cash. Make your statements as particular and as daring as potential. In case you are confused, communicate boldly about your confusion. By doing this, you’re already utilizing your powers of imaginative and prescient, phrases, and motion to create a shift in your life.

7. Take as a lot time on this “re-visioning” course of as you want. As soon as you are feeling your work is full, clear the area of the cash. Take a number of moments to journal, relaxation, meditate, or just to shut your eyes and breathe.

This excerpt is taken with permission from Pleasure Radish’s weblog, the total publish could be discovered right here. 

Photograph by Stephen McVeigh




Pleasure Radish is a yoga instructor, educator, vocalist, and theatre artist. She has carried out in venues that vary from Joe’s Pub, to Bam Café, to NPR and has taught yoga in prisons, hospitals, and yoga studios. Pleasure at present works in a Brooklyn hospital facilitating inventive arts remedy teams on an inpatient psychiatric unit. You’ll be able to join along with her by visiting her web site www.RadishYoga.com.

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