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Dharana: Concentration

July 1, 2009
practice, practie, practice.... working on my arm balancing... unrealated

practice, practie, practice.... working on my arm balancing... unrealated but cool.

“Desbandhas cittasya dharana.  Dharana is the binding of the mind to one place, object or idea.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    -Yoga Sutras III:1

Dharana is the 6th limb of Ashtanga yoga and takes us from the external to the internal. Dharana means concentration and it is the precursor for meditation.  Before we can actually meditate, we have to be able to concentrate and hold one-pointed focus.  The ability to concentrate has been developed by the previous limbs; the body has been made supple through Asana, the breath work under Pranayama has begun to focus the mind, and the senses have been directed away from outside stimulation through Pratyahara, but still concentration must be practiced before it seamlessly becomes meditation.  The awareness draws us deeper and deeper within as the fluctuations of the mind begin to fall away.  This limb is about assuming the mental focus and internal gaze neccessary to meditate.

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