SIXTH STAGE: Dhāraṇā

Stage 6 Dhāraṇā may be translated as “holding”, “holding steady”, “concentration” or “single focus”. In this state, you, the subject, are focusing on an object or action. In Ashtanga there are three single focus points:

1 Ujjayi Pranayama: The breathing technique used in Ashtanga.

2 Bandha: Mula bandha contraction of the perineum. Uddiyana bandha, contraction of the lower abdomen.

3 Drishti: (view or gaze) is a specific focal point that is employed while holding a yoga posture. The ancient yogis discovered that where our gaze is directed our attention naturally follows, and that the quality of our gazing is directly reflected in the quality of our mental thoughts.

Tristana

 

At first we may focus on one element at a time, as our practice matures then we are able to bring our focus on each of these elements simultaneously. This then brings us to the 7th Limb.

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