Pratyahara - (prati = against, ahara = anything external) is directing awareness away from anything external to the internal by controlling the senses. First of all refrain from wrong foods while bringing in proper nourishment. Secondly to refrain from viewing images or any sensory inputs that are not beneficial to a healthy state of mind. Stay away from anything disturbing or toxic and nourish your senses with positive images in a healthy environment. Surround yourself with the right social associations. Indriya pratyahara is the withdrawal of the senses from anything external to us. To do this one must bring attention inward. To start this practice focus on your breath with your eyes closed. Feel the sensation of the breath on your upper lip. Listen to the sound of your breath. This limb serves as the bridge between the external and the internal practices. Mano pratyahara (mind withdrawal) is the most advanced form of pratyahara. The mind acts as the controller of the five senses. When the mind is controllable the five senses are controllable. With Laya yoga techniques one is able to withdraw from the gross senses by focusing on the subtle senses.
Prana Pratyahara is control of prana. Learning to control prana is vital to controlling the senses. In prana pratyahara one withdraws prana from the gross body to the mind then subsequently to the heart. Karma pratyahara is about taking control over motor organs. This goes hand in hand with controlling the sense organs. External influences act upon us and effect our motor organs.
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