Antaranga sadhana cannot be observed
from the outside, but, instead, is undertaken within and beyond the
mind. Their impact is also internal rather than external, as they
work directly on transforming the mind, moving it toward liberation
Pratyahara is considered a bahiranga ("external") sadhana by some yogis and an antaranga sadhana by others. It is the
transition between the external and inner practices. Pratyahara is
the transcending or withdrawal of the senses. In this practice, the
yogi observes the external world objectively to enhance his/her inner
The three other antaranga yoga
- Dharana (concentration) involves
removing the distractions of the mind by concentrating on a single
focus, which can be one of the chakras, an image, a deity, a silent
bija mantra or an object.
- Dhyana (meditation) is a state of
mind similar to dharana, but dhyana is a deep meditative-like state in
which the mind has been quieted, but is aware without producing
thoughts. In dhyana, the yogi is free from distractions.
- Samadhi (unity) is the experience
of transcending the self and obtaining unity with the true inner
self. In a state of samadhi, the yogi experiences no separation
between the individual and universal Consciousness. It is a state of
absolute bliss and is the ultimate goal of yoga.