Pratyahara is derived from two Sanskrit words: prati and ahara, with ahara meaning food, or anything taken into ourselves, and prati, a preposition meaning away or against. Together they mean "weaning away from ahara", or simply ingestion. In the system of yoga, pratyahara is a pivot point from the external to the internal. Pratyahara is the fifth of the 8-limbed system of yoga. It is the withdrawal of senses if you will from the physical world, from action, movement, and external stimulus and a deliberate turn towards focusing on our internal lives and stillness. In our imaginations, one can conjure up images of a monk retreating into the mountains of Tibet to meditate for seven years, no? In our fast-paced, hectic modern lives, this limb is often out of balance. In our current reality, however, it is a concept that has been thrust upon us whether we choose to be conscious of it or not.
Here, if we are willing to listen, is our call to action. It is not to slide under the covers and hide or spend 12 hours a day in meditation. The call is to refocus our lives and find a balance between our internal and external worlds. There is great beauty and opportunity to pause and look for the helpers as Mr. Rogers taught us. To see that in times of great challenge that most people are good and decent. Here also lies the opportunity to quietly sit with all that arises in ourselves. As uncomfortable as it is, acknowledge the fear and anxiety of the unknown. But with keen observation, what you will also witness in that within your new physically distant life is your deeper strength and conviction to rise to the occasion.
You'll notice that your life can pivot towards the projects you haven't had time for, the book you have had sitting on your nightstand, the home-cooked meals you've wanted to provide your family. The beauty is we have the opportunity to take advantage of what seems to be only darkness to cultivate light in our inner worlds. We can truly live within the walls of our homes - you know, that place we all complain we wish we had more time for? You have the opportunity to spend time with your immediate family or your roommates. You know, time to cultivate relationships with those you most love? And you have time to cultivate those inner practices; meditation, mindfulness, prayer, stillness that we often lament we would do, but simply have no time.
You may think I have gone mad, and I am ok with it if so, but this mess we are in - this true, world consuming, scary uprooting of everything we know mess we are in. . . well, I cannot help but see the beauty in it. Please don't misunderstand. I am quite practical and sober about our situation. We have closed the shop to the public sans pickup, delivery, and shipping. We continue to watch our revenues tick down, worry about our friends, family, and humanity as a whole. I was in the service industry for 10 years and watching the decimation of so many livelihoods is sobering. I've also been a yoga teacher for more than a decade, have lost that income and am watching people I hold dear lose theirs as well. I am not naive in my assessment of where we are and where we may all be heading. But still, I cannot help but see all of the beauty, all of the opportunity.
People reach out daily. Many of you have made purchases, as usual, thank you, we are so grateful. People are sending care packages and gifts to loved ones. Companies are extending credit and providing creative solutions. Corkcicle and Twisted Wares (makers of your favorite snarky towels) are allowing customers to order online and assign the profits to the brick-and-mortars where they would've purchased the items. Those companies will simply write us a check. Local businesses have pulled together and with the help of the city's fundraising platform are raising money for our hospitality industry (see below). The Business Chamber has been pooling resources and created a resource page and Edible Indy is highlighting area food-based businesses still providing services and trying hard to weather this storm. If you or someone you know should be listed, they have a form you can fill out.
Externally, it feels as though yes, the world is in panic mode. It is reflected everywhere we look. The work of turning inward, pratyahara, is not however meant to be an escape from external chaos. It is meant to be a disciplined practice of cultivating a balance between our inner and outer worlds - those that are physical and those that are emotional and energetic.
We do this by reaching out where possible. Creating connections virtually with those we are separated from and within our home spaces with those who most need our attention. We do this by creating rituals; scheduling work and school yes, but finding balance with time to play, read, listen to music, having afternoon tea or an evening cocktail, play a game, watch a favorite movie, dive into cooking, or learn something altogether new.
This week, as we continue to work on online tools to better serve you - we plan to indulge in exploring blogs and listening to our favorite musicians. We'll crack open a bottle of wine - oh, who are we kidding, several bottles of wine while we meditate over pots of stew and knead bread. Please do us a favor though, share with us what you are doing too. We miss you and would love to hear about your favorite resources, your escapes into the culinary world and how you are coping with this unusual time.
Finally, if you've made it this far, thank you for indulging me in my musings. I dearly miss teaching and we at the shop sincerely miss all of you,
The team at Goods
Sam, George, Doug, Jill, Jacob, Steve, Steph, Libby, Tiffany, Sam S, Baileigh, Kira, and Julianne.
UPDATE: Our books have arrived and if you choose to join we can get a book to you during this time of physical separation. All proceeds from the ticket sales whether we are able to meet in person or not will be donated to area agencies helping combat food insecurity.
We’re starting a cookbook club and you are invited. We will choose a book for an upcoming gathering. The cookbook may be a new release, something decades-old but beloved by one of our team, or a book about topics relating to food. Participants will choose a recipe to prepare and bring it to share at the gathering. Come, connect with your community, share your stories, and gather around the table.
If you would like to join the Cookbook Club: email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Cookbook Club Registration” in the subject line. Include your name, cell phone, and email address within the body of the text. Your information will not be used for any other purpose than communicating information about the club. Once you have joined, we’ll email you back with your membership card and number along with information about benefits and how to attend upcoming events.
Our first Cookbook Club selection is Every Day is Saturday by Sarah Copeland
Sunday, April 26th
5:30 - 7:30 pm Tickets*
*We recommend signing up for the cookbook club to receive complete instructions prior to purchase.
100% of net proceeds from each sale will go directly toward these participating businesses and financial relief for employees affected by the unfortunate circumstances we are all in. 80% of the proceeds will go towards the business that sent you here, and 20% will go to a pool that we will split evenly amongst the greater group, making sure that establishments large and small benefit. We'll make it through this, but only together. Thank you in advance for your support!