Subscribe to our Daily Teachings | Read our YOGALife & Publications

Sivananda Yoga FAQ

Q 1:  What is the technique of concentration on the 18 parts of the body as advised by Sage Yajnavalkya for the purpose of attaining Pratyahara? Please explain.

A: The technique of concentration as given by Sage Yajnavalkya involves a process of withdrawing the mind and Prana gradually and step by step from one part of the body to another, starting from the two big toes of the feet and progressing upward through a series of successive concentrations, then withdrawals. Traveling through the several Centres of the body the journey leading finally to the crown of the head. By this process, the mind and Prana are totally drawn away from the entire body and finally Centreed in the top of the head where the practitioner dives into deep meditation.

The first 9 of the 18 parts mentioned by Sage Yajnavalkya are given below:

  1. The great toes
  2. The ankles
  3. The middles of the shanks/shin
  4. The parts above the shanks and below the knees
  5. The Centres of the knees
  6. The Centres of the thighs
  7. The anus
  8. The Centre of the body, just below the waist
  9. The genitals

Q 2:  How does the Yogi see the subtle rudiments of matter with his Yogic vision?

A: As you would see the material objects with the help of a material instrument in the form of the eye, the Yogi would see subtler objects through the help of subtler instruments. Except in the plane of intuition, in all other lower planes, there exists a subject-object relationship as far as cognition is concerned. The only thing is: the instrument used in perceiving the object should be of the same material of which the object of perception is made.

Q 3: How does a person feel when severing all relationships, with this mundane world, for embracing Sannyas?

A: When there is a true spirit of Tyaga, in any, there can never be any idea of the old impressions of the world or of past relations with mundane existence. Even if the person embraces Sannyas without the indispensable Vairagya, he need not necessarily feel for the loss that he sustains, though the latent Vasanas, Vrittis and Samskaras still lie embedded in his mental consciousness. A true Sannyasi enjoys the utmost bliss when he cuts asunder all connections with the world.

It is in the nature of man to strive for happiness, but all the happiness which he can gain by his actions is only of limited duration. – Sri Swami Sivananda

Quick Links

Spiritual Calendar


02 New Moon
14 Ekadasi
18 Full Moon
25 Sri Krishna Jayanthi
28 Ekadasi


01 New Moon
05 Ganesha Chathurthi
08 Swami Sivananda ‘s Birthday
13 Ekadasi
14 Onam
16 Full Moon
27 Ekadasi
30 New Moon


The withdrawal of senses from objectivity; the fifth rung in the Raja Yoga ladder.

In the practice of Pratyahara, the consciousness of the person is internalized so not experience the sense of taste, touch, sight, hearing and smell, taking the practitioner to the next stages of yoga – Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (mystical absorption), which is the aim of all yogic practices.

Pratyahara makes the mind calm.

Pratyahara is the most important limb in Yoga Sadhana. – Swami Sivananda

The enjoyments of the senses are transient and the senses themselves are worn out by too much enjoyment. – Sri Swami Sivananda