Thursday, August 22, 2013

Trataka:more than eye exercise

When I started my yoga practice, I was only a student and being an instructor was just an excuse to continue being a student because that meant I had to keep on learning. That is why it is galling for me to see people casually aspire to be instructors after mastering just a few poses or reading one or two yoga books superficially. It is so vast this subject that for me this casual approach to yoga is really galling -- and it is one thing that has not got off my back yet, this irritation at people who just take one aspect of yoga and feel themselves masters enough...

Any case my first teacher to yoga Prabhaji in Borivli also taught me trataka. I saw that she did not teach this to everyone -- she was the first to teach me jal neti, meditation (ajapa japa which is similar to TM) and that was wonderful because it set me off on meditation as a serious part of my practice right from the start. I would do 20 minutes of meditation daily, come rain or shine. Which is why I could do vipassana three times in a small village town of Alandi, with no frills or favors, and in the heat of a Maharastrian summer, and survive it to feel I have still a long way to go.

Without meditation as a daily practice, yoga is not really much.
But those days what helped my meditation practice was trataka. I would do that too, and was fascinated at how it helped my body become still. I was restless before that. My left eye would start watering and I would stare at the red bindi resolutely till it did.. It is a puzzle why my left eye always waters -- happens even with reflexology massages, or when someone does reiki for me!

Its been a while since I practiced trataka, and I am feeling prodded to return to the practice after reading a translation  of the Geranda Samhita by Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati of the Bihar school of yoga.

In a manner of speaking,when I do Muay Thai, my sir always exhorts me to keep my eye steady on the imagined pair of eyes -- the opponent's --when I punch or kick. This is very akin to trataka. He also says I must do other accessory conditioning, like push-up, without blinking my eyes (hey, trataka). So, it goes

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can anyone who is knows basic yoga - practice trataka?pls let me know so I can start practising it.I used to practice it earlier one of the many benefits I experienced was that it kept my glasses no. change in no. For 2 years.