Turn Down The Volume

October 6, 2013

University of Virginia, October 6, 2013

“Turn down the volume on your day.”

That’s how I start most of my Yoga classes when I teach.

It’s pretty much impossible in our world to turn everything off completely – even for an hour. But, turning down the volume a little, well, that’s a start. If only for that one hour of Yoga.

Turning down the volume is the Yogic path of Pratyahara.

To be Fancy Pants about it, the deal of Pratyahara is this – withdraw the senses inward. Close your eyes and look inside. Close your ears and listen to your breath. Close your touch and just feel the air on your skin.

Just find the quiet inside.

Clearing out the clutter in your brain for a few minutes each day can be as rewarding as cleaning all that forgotten junk out of your garage. (Some of the gunk in your brain can be covered with dust, grease, and mouse nests, too.)

That’s why I love this photo I took.

Hanging out at the batting cage, little kid in the center up there, shows his Pratyahara.

Hey, if the crack of the bat gets too loud, just cover your ears.

The batter in the cage is probably swinging away in his “zone”, oblivious to the rest of us, which is simply his Yoga and Pratyahara without all the Sanskrit.

(And, you thought I would never post about Yoga again!)

9 thoughts on “Turn Down The Volume

  1. Thinking about turning down the volume, it always surprises me when the small things in daily life seem able to make the loudest noise.

    • Hi Gloria! Yes, even when it comes to cats. My smallest cat is, invariably, my loudest. Go figure!

      A friend was telling me how frustrating baseball is, because it’s so slow. And, I said, “We race through life, we don’t take time to just watch and enjoy the world. Can’t I just have my 3-hour baseball game? Can’t I just savor and not gulp my food?”

      Not everything has to be loud … and out of control. I like taking time to turn inward — it’s like re-booting my internal computer!

      • I love this post. It helps answer the question “What do you DO all day?” Because I seem to need more quiet time than everyone I know. Time to rest with my kitty on my lap. Time without the noise. I love this word.

        • I know, me too. I used to feel guilty and wrong about needing to close myself away from the world for a recharge. I was greatly relieved to learn that it’s an incredibly important part of Yoga. It gives my brain and heart more space …

          Thanks for dropping by … I always am happy to see you pop up on here!

  2. Amen – to you and to Gloria. I was away at the beach for a week without television or radio interference and it was amazing how little I really missed in the world, big or small – seemed to be the same noise everywhere when I tuned back in?! Contemplating sunshine and seagulls, with only the sound of surf as volume, was a wonderful Pratyahara for me….This child is starting early, smart little guy!

    • Thanks, Lynne! Getting away from the daily world can be incredibly restorative. For you, the beach … for me, Camden Yards! :)

      But, the real trick is figuring out a way to find that peace when you’re back in the world … how to find that peaceful beach when the actual beach is hundreds (or thousands) of miles away. You have to look inside, rather than outside for the calm. That will be the true Pratyahara!

  3. I’ve turned down the volume on the TBS coverage of the NLCS because the announcers are simply awful. And not just because they couldn’t be more up the ass of the Dodgers either. I hate to see Cal Ripken doing something he doesn’t have to do and not being good at it. Yes, I’m angry. lol.

    • I know. I was always so happy that Bill Ripken finally found something that he did much better than Cal (SO much better). Yay, Bill! (I’m not sure Cal’s ready to manage either.)

      My genius idea has been to just let the local television broadcast teams do the home games in the post-season.

      Home field advantage, home fan advantage, home broadcast advantage. No one knows the team better than they do, they’re homers (but we’d expect that), most of the viewers are hometown fans anyway, who would be happy enough to hear the voices they heard all season. And don’t the broadcasters deserve a little post-season fun, too? Plus, Tim McCarver over on the AL games on Fox gets to retire early. Win-win.

      OR … share the broadcast teams. Each season when the Orioles play the Nationals, they split the broadcasters … the lead home-team broadcaster does the call, and both team’s color guys are there. We heckle the Nats guys when we watch, but that’s part of the fun.

      Thanks for reading … I know you’re busy with the Cardinals and Blogging Idol and stuff (you’ve got my vote)!

      • Our home tien announcers suck too so I can’t win. Al Hrabosky? Oy!

        Lol. Jack Buck has ruined everyone for me I guess. Those Vin Scully types are one of a kind.

        Thanks for your support; I’ll need it this week!

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