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Pratyahara Meditation to Focus the Mind and Calm Anxiety

by Julie PetersAugust 22, 2017
Practice
Calm scene of woman meditating on water

Poike/Thinkstock

Use this guided meditation to draw the senses closer to connect with the body in the present moment.

Pratyahara is a word that’s often translated to mean “withdrawing the senses.” I like to think of it instead as a way to draw the senses closer, to work with what's already happening in order to connect with the body in the present moment. Pratyahara meditation reframes distraction as a tool for meditation rather than an impediment, so it can be done even in loud, chaotic places like the park, your office, or on the bus—as long as it's safe to be still and close your eyes. Traditionally, it is used as a preparation for deeper meditations, but I find it's very effective on its own. Pratyahara is especially useful for moments of high anxiety, stress, or distraction because it uses what's already happening around the meditator rather than trying to force attention away. Pratyahara practices can teach us that, while we can’t always control the distractions around us, we do have some control over our attention and our awareness. For this reason, this may be a useful form of meditation for some people with attention disorders like ADD or ADHD. Remember that the key isn’t to block out the sounds aroun …

Julie Peters

Julie Peters is a staff writer for Spirituality & Health. She is also a yoga teacher (E-RYT 500, YACEP) and co-owner of Ocean and Crow Yoga studio in Vancouver, BC, with her mom, Jane. She is the author of Secrets of the Eternal Moon Phase Goddesses: Meditations on Desire, Relationships, and the Art of Being Broken (SkyLight Paths 2016) and WANT: 8 Steps to Recovering Desire, Passion, and Pleasure After Sexual Assault (Mango Media 2019). Learn more at www.jcpeters.ca. Follow her at @juliejcp.

Learn with Julie! 

Register for Julie's courses Stress Management Skills for Real Life: Practices for a Calmer Happier Life and Moon Goddess Meditations: A 16-night journey of desire, heartache and connection.


This entry is tagged with:
MeditateGuided MeditationFocusAwarenessAudio Meditation

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