Suzy Gelman, Tree of Life Yoga Director and Instructor

The Tree of Yoga (Shambhala Classics)


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6. : Concentration
The tree of Yoga : the Sap
Each stage prepares for the next. In pratyahara we become self-observant; in dharana, we focus our attention on a single point. In dharana we learn how to steady the mind from wandering – through memories, dreams or reflective thought - by concentrating on a single mental object.

5. : Control of the Senses
The tree of Yoga : the Bark
Pratyahara, or the control of the senses, is a conscious effort to draw awareness away from the external world and outside stimuli and redirect it inward, toward the self. Pratyaharara corresponds to the inner journey of the senses from the outside to the core of one’s being

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7. : Meditation
The tree of Yoga : the Flowers
“When the flow of concentration is uninterrupted, the state that arises is dhyana,” writes B.K.S. Iyengar. Where dharana practices one-pointed attention, dhyana is a state of being keenly aware without focus. At this stage, the mind has been quieted, and in the stillness it produces a state of “One beeing” of the subject and the object of meditation.

4. : Control of Breath
The tree of Yoga : the Leaves
Pranayama is the control of prana, the vital forces of the body, by measuring, control, and directing of the breath. Through Pranayama the respiratory and the circulatory systems are brought into a harmonious state. In the Yoga Sutra, the practices of pranayama and asana are considered to be high forms of purification and self discipline for the mind and the body.