Developing concentration is necessary for success in any field, and there are no shortcuts to it. However Trataka one of the Shatkarmas is a way you can increase concentration. The word Trataka means steady gazing.It is a kriya in Yoga which involves gazing or fixing eyes on one point or object without blinking the eyes. The point can be an object or the flame of a candle.
It is a method of focusing the eyes and in turn the mind on one point to the exclusion of all others.It acts as the stepping stone between physically oriented practices and mental practices that leads to higher awareness.
It has been proven that Trataka is scientifically correct. The movement of eyeballs is the effect of the thinking process as suggested by modern medical science. It is a known fact that thoughts flood our minds every second and make it difficult for us to concentrate. In fact thoughts are the bane of concentration. The practice of Trataka involves focusing on a single object, which decreases eyeball movement and hence the number of stray thoughts. A steady eyeball also means that thoughts are concentrated on a particular area, which means a better understanding and a better solution to the problem at hand.
There are many ways Trataka is practiced. The point of gazing can be a Shiva lingam, candle flame, black dot, crystal ball, sun, moon or the picture of deity. The most commonly used method is gazing at the candle flame.
- Sit with a straight back on a chair or on the floor. While on the floor padmasana is the best posture.
- Take a burning candle and keep it one and a half feet away from eyes.
- Bring the candle to eye level using a candle stand.
- Steady yourself and try to look at the portion of the flame just above the wick. This flame will be very steady.
- Try and look at the flame without blinking. As you go on doing this kriya it becomes easier. Also as you go on you feel only the flame. Oneness with the flame can also be experienced.
- The eyes may get tired and also may water. If this happens close the eyes, and try seeing the image of the flame on the forehead.
- Slowly open the eyes and repeat the process as per the instruction from the Yoga teacher.
Benefits of Trataka
- Strengthens muscle of the eye and can help in getting rid of short-sightedness which is known as myopia.
- Helps in getting good sleep. Trataka is an excellent cure of insomnia and removes the problem of sleeplessness. Just practice Trataka for a few minutes before sleeping.
- Trataka develops the power of concentration and focusing of mental energy towards one point which leads to peace of mind.
- Trataka is an excellent method of obtaining meditation experience and unleashing some of the dormant potential of the mind.
- Trataka helps to improve the memory.
- Makes the mind calm and steady and improves mental stability.
- Trataka is a tonic for the neurons ( Nerves of the Brain).