For the umpteenth time I start anew. Yet I can´t seem to get it done putting the yoga-meanings Niyama and Pratyahara together in a simple and understandable story. And above this I also want to explain to you how actors apply this in their job. That it could be something you would benefit from. I can´t seem to manage.
For weeks now I have been struggling. In what kind of shape should I mold it all? What do I want you to learn from it? A story of 500 words has become a chaos of 13 pages. Stop it. Wait. Take a distance. What´s in fact the essence of what I want to say? And be satisfied with less. Stop. Wait. Got it. This is exactly what Niyama en and Pratyahara is about.
ln, the eight branches of yoga is the second branch ? . Niyama which means as much as ´regulation´ gives you something to hold on to and consists of five virtues: purity, contentment, diligence, self-reflection and awareness of the divine.
Pratyāhāra is pulling back from the (inner) senses from their objects so as spirit (chitta ) remain themselves. Let me put it another way: thoughts determine your feelings. Your feelings determine how you behave in a given situation.
This is what actors do when they develop a character. They unravel – ontrafelen – the script with the aim to find as much information about the character as possible. They try out everything physically. This they try to do as pure as possible (niyama). They are constantly wondering whether they yet have the essence of the character (pratyahara). In addition, they use their body (behaviour) to transfer to the public certain feelings and thoughts.
Because I desperately wanted to tell everything, I wasn´t pure anymore. I was writing like crazy and I became more and more dissatisfied. My thoughts made me feel frustrated and that was reflected in my behaviour: 13 pages full with chaos. And now? I stopped and asked myself what it was really about. That gave me the possibility to come the essence. There was peace in writing my story. Bingo!
Imagine you have to explain a blind person what someone looks when he is ´angry´, ‘happy’ or ‘sad’. Look at how someone physically changes. What happens to the shoulders and chest, where do the mouth corners go, what do you hear of someone’s breathing, etc.
Savasana. In this pose, you lie stretched on the floor. You try to be as relaxed as possible with eyes closed. Your thoughts will do their best to distract you. The trick is to consciously keep your focus on your breathing. If you are in Savasana , try to re-examine how the principles of Niyama and Pratyahara apply . Wait. Stop. Try. Do not expect perfection, it´s about trying and exploring.