Trataka

Definition - What does Trataka mean?

Trataka, a technique used in a meditation practice, is one of the six purification techniques, called shatkarmas, of Hatha yoga. Trataka is a Sanskrit word, which means "to look" or "to gaze."

To perform trataka, sit in a meditative pose or in a chair with the spine erect. Place a burning candle about two feet in front at eye level. Fix the gaze on the tip of the wick and do not blink. Close the eyes only when they are no longer able to avoid blinking or when they begin to water. With the eyes closed, visualize the flame in the spot of the forehead between the eyebrows, where the ajna chakra is located. Keep the focus on this inner image as long as it exists, then open the eyes and repeat the process two more times.

Trataka may also be referred to as yogic gazing in English.

Yogapedia explains Trataka

Apart from a flame, other objects used in the practice of trataka include a dot on the wall, an object of worship, a deity, flower, mountain, rising sun or moon. However, a flame is believed to work best.

The oscillations of the mind no longer exist as the mind is tuned in to remaining focused on a single object. Such absorption promotes the ability to disconnect with the external world and find peace within.

Additional benefits of trataka include:

  • Strengthens eye muscles
  • Purifies the eyes
  • Treats eye disorders
  • Relieves insomnia
  • Aids in treating depression
  • Improves concentration
  • Calms the mind
  • Promotes emotional stability
  • Boosts willpower
  • Develops intuition and clairvoyance

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