Experiencing the World Beyond Our Senses
Most of us perceive the world through our five senses. Our senses allow us to experience life through what is tangible. However, there is an experience out there that really goes beyond the finite experience achieved only through the senses. If you think about it, visible light is just a fraction of the spectrum of light that exists. Even the range of sound vibration exceeds what the ears can detect. So there is a vast array of the universe and experience that is not perceptible through our senses. This is the essence of Ashtanga’s 5th limb, Pratyahara, sensory withdrawal. The asana practice, drishti and pranayam are all tools for us to use to focus our mind away from the mental chatter. But by slowly withdrawing the senses from the limited physical world and moving toward a deeper state of concentration and eventual meditation, we can begin to devote more energy to the internal practice, the practice that connects us to what is unchanging and limitless. Allowing us to see the unseen, to hear the unheard and to feel the untouched. And ultimately this most intangible experience can profoundly shift our awareness and perception within our world, as we have come to know it through our senses.