This week in our Zoom yoga classes we have been honouring the Indian Festival of Diwali, the Festival of Lights, and one way in which we did this was by opening our practice with a candle gazing meditation, Trataka. I was super excited to guide everyone through this meditation as I have never been able to teach it in class before due to “naked flame” restrictions within studios, so this is a definite benefit of teaching everyone in their own homes!
Trataka itself is a form of concentrated gazing and while it is commonly referred to as “candle gazing” you can also use other objects to focus on such as crystals, yantras or even simply a black dot on a sheet of white paper. The idea is to focus the gaze on an object and by focusing the eyes/gaze this helps to focus the mind. Stillness of the eyes therefore brings stillness of the mind and leads our attention away from the mind’s busy chatter. As well as a technique to improve concentration and as a meditation practice, it also strengthens the eyes, relaxes the eye muscles and activates the Ajna, or Third Eye, Chakra.
The technique is simple and I have made a short video to show what we did together in class. Follow along for a short meditation and if you find you are very comfortable with the technique then you can obviously continue for longer.