The word Trataka means to “look” or “gaze”. It’s a mental practice which leads to a higher state of awareness. Traditionally, it is part of Hatha yoga but it may also be considered part of raja yoga.
This practice I find to be so calming.
It involves intensely gazing at one point or at a crystal or an object. My favourite has to be the flame of a candle. This then helps you develop the power of concentration.
To prepare, light a candle and place it on a small table so that the flame is exactly at eye level when sitting.
Sit comfortably with your head and spine straight. Make sure the candle is at arm’s length away.
Close your eyes and relax the whole body, especially the eyes.
Then open the eyes and gaze at the flame. Try not to blink or move the eyeballs. Your eyes may flicker or you may lose concentration. If this happens, just bring it back to the practice.
Gaze for several minutes. After this you may feel your eyes water or become tired and this is totally normal.
Close your eyes for a few seconds then begin the practice again.
The image or flame may move up or down, become really close or far away in your gaze.
Continue for as many rounds as you like.
Once complete take your palms onto your closed eyes and settle your eye, your mind your thoughts.
So what’s the point?
Well not only does this practice make the eyes clearer and brighter, it also balances the nervous system, improves memory and helps develop good concentration and strong willpower.
This is best practiced in the evening or prior to meditation.
Trataka – blinkless gazing