Know your yoga? Try it with your eyes closed. Uh, and with a blindfold? We can’t exactly call this a trend yet, since it’s not pounded out on HuffPo or elephant journal, but we have a good mind to think it could catch on amongst daring yoga folk. Pratyahara is one of the 8 limbs of the Ashtanga Yoga system and it means “withdrawal of the senses.” Here we have the literal blinding of the eyes so that all you can do is feel your body moving through the motions, sort of like The Touch Tunnel at the Liberty Science Center, for sweaty adults under tough asana conditions. Funky? Kinda! A little scary? Yep. Especially when you start creeping over to your neighbor’s mat/bum or find your full expression of ardha baddha faceplant-asana.
We know for a fact yoga class with Marco Rojas is a pretty effing challenging on its own, so we give these blindfolded yogsters a lot of credit. It’s just for some reason we can’t stop singing that Olivia Newton John and Travolta diddy. You know the one…
If you’re filled with affection you’re too shy to convey, meditate in my direction. Feeeel your way.
Yeeoow. Sign us up when the class ends with a tea date with the lucky person you just discovered after your sweaty-big-toe-to-their-asana during class.
FYI: Marco started teaching eyes-closed yoga classes every so often ever since a blind student came to his class a few years ago. He wanted to have the entire class experience the sensation.
Have you tried it? Would you?
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I think it’s quite important for us to strengthen each sense individually. That also means losing one sense and letting the other ones get stronger together. Why not do it with yoga? A full self aware experience!
I would definately try it. It sounds like fun. As long as I didn’t take it too seriously and try to push too much, I think the chances of me getting hurt or crashing into something from being disoriented are minimized. Heck, I may try it at home tonight.
“feeeel your way…” Ahahahaha!
Thanks for late night giggles 🙂
I have actually tried practicing with my eyes closed and it is a very different experience. The sensation of energy and breath becomes much stronger. At first it was impossible, I started in tree and would tip over every. single. time. Then, I started being mindful and focused on my drishti gaze and wouldn’t you know! that closed eye tree thing started getting easier. FAST. You “see” (haha) if I keep the INTENTION of my gaze, I get a similar sense of balance as if I were actually seeing! I would love to experience a class in which everyone was blindfolded. Sounds fun!
totally. I would go with that exploration in a heartbeat. I’m not sure I’d want to try it on my own because I think i’d get myself into a physically dangerous position and fall out with an injury though…
Blindfolded Yoga is tough compare to normal yoga and it need more concentration as well as attention for performing it.
I practice with my eys closed much of the time, but I also frequently open them while moving to orient myself. I think if I was going to do a whole class blindfolded, I’d have to trust my teacher a whole bunch.
Second that… In class, I often find myself closing my eyes, especially if the teacher is giving a lot of direction that I do not need. Helps me focus on the breath, not on other students struggling in a pose…
do it all the time! not blindfolded but eyes closed. great way to reconnect with what’s inside rather than the distractions of outside.
I keep my eyes close during some of my daily practice… really helps when I am not centered… will def try it blindfolded