Review of the past week:
Last week we explored the 4th limb of yoga – pranayama.
Yoga Sutra 2.49 describes pranayama as “the conscious, deliberate regulation of the breath replacing unconscious patterns of breathing.” (translation and interpretation by TKV Desikachar).
The physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits of pranayama breathing practices are many, and include:
- increasing the health and vitality of our bodies
- reducing stress and anxiety by activating the parasympathetic nervous system
- cultivating more peaceful and focused awareness in the mind
Pranayama practices are an excellent preparation for prayer and worship, and allow us to connect directly with God’s breath of life within us.
The Week Ahead:
- PRATYAHARA: (The restraint of the senses) Occurs when the mind is able to remain in its chosen direction and the senses disregard the different objects around them.
- DHARANA (concentration) Holding the focus or concentration on one point or object.
- DHYANA (meditation) Once the mind is oriented toward one point, the connection can be made.
- The Ignatian Examen
- Ignatian Contemplation
- Centering Prayer
- Christian Meditation
- Lectio Divina