Dharana is the sixth limb of Ashtanga Yoga. The word 'Dharana' simply means 'unbending concentration of mind'. Working with complete focus and concentration is something that satisfies every individual at the maximum. Each of us, feel a sense of frustration, when we are not able to focus. The inability to focus may be because our minds were racing with ideas, judgments, worries, songs, or even memories. The main idea underlying Dharana, is the ability to focus on something (uninterrupted both by external or internal distractions).
Dharana is a form of meditation that can be called receptive
concentration. With the help of Dharana, a set of conditions are created
that helps the mind focus in one direction and object, rather than
concentrating in many directions, thereby diverting the mind. The term
'Dharana' is given to both the practice of deep concentration and the
state in which you achieve deep concentration. Ideally, 'Dharana' should
be performed at every moment of the day to gain utmost control of both
body and mind.
Benefits Of Dharana
Dharana aims at setting up the mind, by focusing it upon some stable
entity. One good method to start it is by rolling the eyes upward and
downward, in one direction to get the concentration. Any object selected
for practicing has no role to play in the meditation process. The object
is only used to stop the mind from wandering - through memories, dreams,
or reflective thought - by intentionally holding it obsessively upon
some static object. This ability is a movement toward perception of its
true nature and not an escape from reality.
Dharana helps in channeling one's thoughts on a certain thing. It makes
sure that you reach a level of awareness in anything you do, by focusing
on every step you take. Dharana can bring richness to one's life. With
the help of deep contemplation and reflection, one can create the right
conditions. Dharana works with the objective to achieve the mental
state, where the mind, intellect, and ego are controlled. The mind
becomes purified by the practices. It becomes able to focus efficiently
on one subject or point of experience. Dharana also helps in the
cessation of fluctuations in the mind.
The practice of Dharana, at the time, when you are struggling with
anger, restlessness or expectation would help in balancing those
struggles. Dharana is the practice of training the mind, to concentrate
and focus, in such a way, that we can possibly avoid frustrations.
Concentrating our attention on one point allows the mind to be stable
and calms the disturbance of activity, to which we are used to. The
point of concentration can be anywhere within our body or outside.
Therefore, maintaining a fixed and focused concentration, throughout the
practice, gives consistency and clarity to the thoughts.