Day 3: Trataka

After spending the last 3 days relaxing and breaking my routine, it's time to post something profound. Something yogic. Before I get into it, take a look at how I've spent my first Saturday of the year.

My first morning class. We did 12 sets of sun salutations and finished the rest of the class with some intermediate poses and inversions. They are very dedicated students and I feel so welcomed at their home since day one. I am so proud to witness their growth in yoga over the past year.

Of course, I had to take my picture for today's challenge. This one requires some core and arm strength. Definitely one of the very exciting poses worth trying. Join us and post your attempt using the #beSTRONGin2015.


'Candle' by Jochen Ziegon
Trataka is a simple yogic practice to improve concentration. It means steady gazing. Personally, I would categorize it as an alternative meditation practice for those who find it difficult to silence the mind, There are various techniques to practice trataka but I have been taught to use a candle or an oil lamp. I have always been attracted to candle lights. There's something so warm and comforting about a candle flame. Besides a candle or an oil lamp, a picture of a yantra, the sun/moon, a flower, yin & yang symbol, a statue or a star. Let us just focus on bahir trataka (external gazing) because it is much easier to be understood and put into practice. A candle seems to be the most effective object for beginners. 

Basic techniques : 

  • Posture
       - Most comfortable sitting position, steady with little to no movements throughout practice.

  • Distance between you and object

       -  Ensure the candle is positioned at eye level and at arm's length from eyes. Remove your spectacles and contact lenses during the practice.

  • Time of practice 

       - Early in the morning or late at night in complete darkness and silence.

  • Practice 

       - Gaze intently at the flame, particularly at the tip of the wick, without blinking.                        
       - Gaze for as long as possible without straining the eyes. Then, close your eyes.                        
       - Continue to observe the after-image of the candle flame in front of your closed eyes. Repeat the process 2 to 3 times and finally, rest with eyes closed.    

Benefits :

  • Develops power of concentration and improves memory.
  • Achieving one pointed-ness lead to a peaceful mind. 
  • Easy method to attain meditational experience.
  • Improves eyesight and attain relieve from insomnia.
  • Excellent to clean out the mind and remove mental upsets.

Warning : 

If you are unable to sleep at night after the practice, shift your practice time to early in the morning until your accumulated mental and emotional stresses become stable.

So, I have decided to spend the rest of the day reading, complete some remaining tasks, brainstorm for ideas and continue with my evening practices, including trataka. Have a beautiful rest of the Saturday.


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