Learn here how to do the Trataka Kriya to raise Intuitions, improve your eyesight, and quiet the wandering mind.
Yoga has penetrated the deepest layer of mankind. Asanas or the yoga postures have emerged as the vital part of a widely used fitness tool for mind, body and soul..
Most of us are also familiar with common yogasana terminologies such as downward facing dog pose, cat and cow pose, paschimottanasana, Camel Pose to name a few.
However, the fact about yoga which is rarely known is that ASANAS OR POSTURES are only the tiniest portion of a huge pie called YOGA.
According to the Yogasutra of Patanjali, Out of eight limbs of yoga, asanas form just one.
So if you are into yoga to have a larger than life experience through spirituality, you need to know about the koshas, the dosas, the bandhas, the Kriyas and a lot more…
Trataka Kriya, a lesser known yet extensively used term in yogic circles, is one of the shatkarmas (six yogic cleansing techniques) or Shat Kriyas.
In Hatha yoga, practice of shatkarmas is associated with making the body and mind strong and healthy.
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What is Tratak Kriya In Yoga And Its Significance
Trataka means to gaze steadily
According to Hatha Yoga Pradipika,
“Nireekshaennischaladrsâ sukshmalakshya samâhita
Asrusampâtaparyantam âchâryaisrtâtakam smrtam”
“Looking intently with an unwavering gaze at a small point until tears are shed is known as trataka by the acharyas (teachers)”.
Trataka is an extremely powerful technique which helps us to cure and improve all eye disorders, weakens laziness and controls our mind.
Regular practice of tratak Kriya aids in directing the nervous system in a definite direction to increase our energy level.
With a quiet mind it becomes far easier to concentrate and live with tranquility.
P.S.- To cure your eyes and maintain a good eyesight, you should practice Trataka Kriya along with the Prana Mudra explain here with a video.
Trataka or yogic practice of concentrated gazing is an ancient hatha yoga exercise used for all round development of our body, mind and soul. The meaning of the word trataka is ‘’to look fixedly’’ or ‘’to stare pointedly’’. The concept of trataka is defined clearly by some yogis and old yoga texts like hatha yoga pradipika.
According to Giovanni D. from liveanddare– in the ladder of Yoga, trataka is often considered the bridge between the body-oriented practices – like postures (asanas) and breathing exercises (pranayama) – and the mind oriented practices of meditation (dhyana) and the superconscious state (samadhi). It is also an essential preparation for all visualization-type meditations.
Types of Trataka Kriya
Conventionally there are three kinds of trataka that can be practiced:
- Antar or Antaranga Trataka,
- Madhya Trataka and
- Bahya or Bahiranga Trataka
Antar (Internal) Trataka
This is done with closed eyes with the imagination that we are gazing at either the midpoint of our two eyes(bhrumadhya drishti), or heart, navel or any other internal organ.
Antaranga trataka involves clear and stable inner visualization of an object.
Madhya (in Between) Trataka
In this method, still gaze is fixed on the center of the eyebrows (bhrumadhya) or tip of the nose(nasagra)or any nearby object made of any material.
Alternatively, it can be practiced with aum written in paper, or concentric circles having a black dot in its middle, or a single black dot with open eyes.
Bahya (External) Trataka
It is performed by fixing our gaze on a distant object like the rising Sun, Moon or a bright planet. Bahiranga is simpler to practice than Antaranga because you just have to gaze at an object or symbol.
How To Practice Trataka For Maximum Benefits
As we understand by now that the practice of trataka is done by gazing at a fixed point or object without blinking the eyes.
Using a steady flame is often preferred because the flame acts as a natural attraction for many people.
Fire may play the role of a magnet for the eyes and mind.
Also, it leaves a very clear after-image in the mind.
The principal objective of trataka is firstly to silence the wavering tendencies of the mind to achieve the highest degree of focus and concentration. Secondly, to harbour the power of intuitions and inner visions.
Once the thoughts and power of your mind becomes streamlined, the flow of prana happens effortlessly, making life completely stress-free…
Your faculties are awakened naturally
In my book “Behind Your Brain Beyond The Books” I have explained everything to control your mind and achieve the highest degree of focus through yoga. Trataka Kriya is also explained perfectly.
How To Trataka Kriya To Raise Intuitions, Improve Eyesight And Quiet The Mind
- You can practice Trataka by sitting on the ground in padmasana (lotus pose), ardha padmasana or sukhasana (comfortable sitting posture) keeping the spine and the back straight.
- Place a cow’s ghee lamp preferably or a candle at the level of your eyes at approximately one metre distance.
- Close your eyes then practice kaya sthairyam ( a steady body).
- Then open your eyes and gaze at the middle portion of the lamp flame, just above the wick.
- Try to keep the eyes perfectly steady. Avoid blinking.
- In the beginning, you can lower the eyelids
if the eyes become sore or tired.
- Stare as long as possible, five or ten minutes, or more if you can without closing and straining your eyes.
- But at the same time you can also close, if you feel so… the point is not to strain and harm your eyes and surrounding muscles beyond a limit.
- Let The Mind Be Free Of Thoughts! But in case you can’t do so (which is really the case with most of us) , witness silently (Sakshi).
- When your eyes start tearing, finally close the eyes, keep them fixed on the impression of the flame in front, in chidakasha ( Inner Trataka).
- If it flickers or moves, bring it back to the center and continue gazing until the impression disappears.
- The purpose of focusing the eyes on an external object is to arouse the internal vision and to make that vision steady by stopping the eye movements.
- Once you can stabilize the image, observe and look intently at the colors.
- It is just normal if you can’t see any light, just a black impression of the shape.
- Keep the mind completely devoid of thought. Only be aware of the object of concentration.
- Practice for fifteen to twenty minutes (initially start with a 3 to 5 minutes of gaze) unless the guru has advised you to go for a longer period.
- Trataka can be done at any time, but it is more effective when performed on an empty stomach.
- The most suitable time is between four and six a.m. after asana and pranayama practice. If you want to delve deeper into the mind, trataka should be done late at night before going to bed and before japa or meditation.
- After performing trataka you should wash your eyes and face with water. The time period of trataka from the beginning till the rolling down of tears differs from person to person.
- It may also depend on the mental condition of the individual.
Benefits Of Doing Trataka
- According to Hatha yoga, regular practice of Trataka promotes curing all sorts of eye- related issues and surmount laziness.
- Practice of Trataka also carves the road to hone the Shambhavi Mudra, which leads to a state of dharna or contemplation.
- Gradually you also develop a great vision and intuitive insight.
- According to Gherand Samhita, a yogic text, trataka helps in training and guiding and calming the nervous system in a particular direction. It also aids in reducing and curing all kinds of mental tensions. It leads to a state of peacefulness and calmness.
- The sleep pattern is corrected within a small time with the practice of trataka.
- Its curing and improving tendency depends upon the mental and physical state of a person.
- It also assists in raising hypnotic powers and sixth sense if practiced regularly.
- Trataka acts as a means of advancement between physically oriented exercises and mental exercises which finally lead to higher awakening.
- It acts as a vital link between hatha yoga and raja yoga. Conventionally it comes under hatha yoga but it may also be considered as a part of raja yoga.
Other Symbols And Objects You Can Perform Trataka Effectively
There are other equally effective symbols or objects such as a crystal ball, a shiva lingam, yantra, mandala, full moon, a star, the rising or setting sun (when it is an orange-red ball and not yellow), a Chakra symbol of Om, or your own shadow. These are the most effective.
Trataka can also be done on a rose, a tree, a mountain, the sea, or lightning.
In fact, if you worship a particular deity and gaze steadily at the form, it is also Bahiranga Trataka.
But please note that the most suitable of all forms is a steady flame because a symbol, yantra or mandala leaves an impression in the mind and stimulates particular centers.
Even some yoga scriptures state that, you may even manifest Kali and be terrified by her fearsome form!
Therefore, a steady flame of light is most practical unless the guru says otherwise.
Preparing Your Eyes Before And After The Tratak Kriya
You can perform the following eye exercises before and after your “gazing meditation” aka Trataka. I personally love this practice of eye-toning and do it regularly.
Keeping your head completely still, move your eyes left and right ten times; then up and down ten times; then make full circles in the clockwise and then counter-clockwise direction, five times each or so. Finally close your eyes for 10 minutes and cup with your palms.
This is a good exercise for the eye muscles, and some teachers recommend it as a preparation for gazing meditation.
Science Of Trataka
Research shows that there is a definite relationship between eye position and the dominant hemisphere of your brain; so much so that changing the eye position can directly affect your mood and experience of the world. In the experiments, pictures appearing on the left side of our viewing field, and sounds in the left ear (both transmitted to the right brain), are perceived less agreeable than when they are presented to the other side.
This is relevant because the technique of Trataka involves holding a central gaze. This can explain the experience of many practitioners regarding Trataka meditation and similar techniques leading to an integration and unification of the whole brain.
If looking from the right eye activates the left hemisphere, and from the left activates the right hemisphere, then it’s a very logical conclusion that holding a perfectly centered and forward gaze produces a balanced brain activity in both hemispheres.
The practice of trataka is very conducive in gaining control on our parasympathetic nervous system, lowering of heart and respiration rate.
It increases the peripheral blood circulation of our body.
By removing the emotional clutters, the trataka Kriya helps in mastering our mind.
Trataka Kriya Precautions
- Avoid using candles with toxic fumes or other lamps for doing trataka. Always use a cow’s ghee lamp for practicing tratak for the best results.
- Do not practice trataka on a flickering flame.
- Hypersensitive persons should do trataka after doing shavasana. Emotionally and mentally disturbed people should do trataka only after practicing the basic postures (asanas) and processes (kriyas).
- Take care of your eyes and never rub them after doing trataka. Do not strain your eyes beyond your capacity and avoid to read or watch television or your mobile phone immediately after doing trataka
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Wrapping Up– Trataka Kriya To Raise Intuitions
A sustained practice of Trataka Kriya produces highly modulated waves of Alpha frequencies relaxing our mind and mental faculties.
It promotes the purification process by eliminating our suppressed emotions and desires from the subconscious level.
To sum up, the practitioner of Trataka experiences a great deal of relaxation and highest degree of calmness and peace on both physical and mental level.
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