Pratyahara and the Turtle

The shoreline was different again today - the water was agitated and rough with countless white-capped waves...

I came across this description of pratyahara - one of the eight limbs of yoga - that is often translated as "withdrawal of the senses." This comes from Pandit Rajmani Tigunait:

"Like a turtle drawing its head and limbs into its home, you withdraw from the entangled places of your mind..."

I have felt a lot like a turtle over this last year, and a few months ago a colleague and friend gave me a blue turtle sticker that has been on my yoga mat all these months.

Was the turtle an invitation to draw deeper within - or was it instead more reflective of my current interior state? Or was it perhaps, a little of both? Certainly it was worth some contemplation on my part on this cold morning down by the ocean...

Ultimately, that is what a yoga and meditation practice seeks to enable us to do - to withdraw from the entangled places of our minds that often hold us captive. We are invited to let go of ego and all that clouds our true nature and our connection to the Divine...

If only the realization and embodiment of this fact were so easy!


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