Every night when we go to sleep we go into pratyahara (withdrawal from the senses) but we do so unconsciously. In yoga, we are trying to follow the same process of withdrawing of the senses as when we sleep, but consciously. This may seem insignificant, but it makes all the difference.
To realise our fundamental roots we have to be free of all supports – teachings, teachers, ideas, prejudices and concepts – the whole edifice of conditioning. This doesn’t mean we reject life – our friends, relatives, possessions and work – but that we accept the obvious: that everything manifest is transient. This is the attitude that we should have when we are practising yoga.
This gives Awareness a chance to fly free of its material and mental fetters. It is our habitual and engrained attachments which keep us totally identified with our body, mind and possessions. Letting go of this identification, albeit temporarily, allows us to realise our fundamental nature. Then, with this realisation, we continue our lives with all its pleasures and pains, ups and downs but with joy and wisdom. We start to live life fully, beyond our wildest dreams. Then we know that we are supported by That which supports all.