Yoga in GoaYoga in Goa


TRATAK

Tratak is steady gazing at a particular point or object without winking. Though this is one of the six purification exercises, it is mainly intended for developing concentration and mental focusing. It is very useful for the students of Hatha Yog, Gyan yog, Bhakti yog, and Raj yog. There is no other effective method for the control of the mind. Some of the students who claim that they belong to Gyan yog, neglect such important exercise since they are described under Haths Yogic portions.

Light the candle and place it on a small table so that the flame is exactly at eye level when sitting. Sit in any comfortable meditation asan with the head and spine erect. Adjust the position so that the candle is an arm’s length away from the body. Close the eyes and relax the whole body, especially the eyes.

Be aware of body steadiness for a few minutes. Keep the body absolutely still throughout the practice. Open the eyes and gaze steadily at the tip of the wick. The flame may flicker slightly but the tip of the wick will always remain steady. Try not to blink or move the eyeballs in any way.

Do not strain as this will cause tension and the eyes will flicker. The awareness should be so completely centred on the wick that body awareness is lost. If the mind begins to wander, gently bring it back to the practice. After a minute or two, when the eyes become tired or begin to water, close them gently.

Gaze at the after-image of the flame in the space in front of the closed eyes. If the image moves up or down, or from side to side, observe it and try to stabilize it. When the image can no longer be retained, gently open the eyes and gaze at the tip of the wick once more. Repeat the procedure for external gazing. Close the eyes once more and gaze at the inner image. Continue in this way 3 or 4 times.

After completing the final round, practice palming 2 or 3 times, before opening the eyes (see chapter on eye exercises). This completes the practice.

This practice makes the eyes clear and bright. It balances the nervous system, relieving nervous tension, anxiety, depression and insomnia. It improves the memory and helps to develop good concentration and strong willpower. It activates ajna chakra and is an excellent preparation for meditation.

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