Centering in Yoga

Dear friends,

I hope you all are fine and doing very well with your life. Life! Isn’t it exciting? One of the reasons I love life is because of the excitement of new challenges it brings. With confidence and centering we all can face these challenges easily. “Centering” in yoga is the search for balance between the two polarities of our human life, the outgoing, extrovert, active side and the ingoing, introvert, receptive side. With most of us we manifest one predominant personality. For instance, one person is more of an outgoing personality, while another one is quieter. The centering methods mentioned in ancient yoga scriptures help us in balancing our personality thus balancing all variables of our life in turn.

Since one of the definitions of Yoga is Balance, centering is one of the primary practices and techniques of moving towards a Yogic lifestyle and attitude. Today, let us try to understand one simple method of centering which can be done anywhere and anytime.

Method –

Sit comfortably in a quiet place and close your eyes. Look inwards until you feel quiet and calm. With your eyes still closed, imagine a beautiful flame in the center of your brow or your heart. It is a clear yellow-white flame sprouting upwards. If you are an emotionally sensitive person imagine the flame in the center of your heart, if you are intellectually oriented then imagine the flame in the center of your brow. See it there and make the image as clear as possible. If this is easy for you to see, make this a daily practice and continue to do it every day with faith. Some people find this visual imagery very difficult. If you do not see the flame, or if it does not come easily into your imagination, then light a real candle and set it at eye level in front of you. This is best to do in a darkened room. The background behind the candle should be very plain. Sit and watch the candle for two minutes. Now close your eyes and visualize the beautiful flame coming in the center of your brow or heart. Relax and bring it inside you. If you have difficulty, open your eyes and look at the candle for a short while again. Repeat two or three times for a few moments each time, but no more than that. Be very careful not to strain or overexert your eyes. This technique in yoga is classically called as the “Tratak” gaze.

For the first few weeks try to relax and concentrate easily and effortlessly. Later on increase the sitting time. This practice will give you an understanding of how to center your awareness and bring the active restless mind inwards into your center. With an understanding of your center, you will then learn how to balance the circumference of day to day life.

Best of Luck!
Prasad

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