The most intriguing part of your yoga practice lies in the ever-changing state of both your body and mind.
When you begin any conscious practice, you realize you’re never exactly the same as you were the day before. This continual state of transience means there is always another layer of awareness to consider. Very quickly, the practice becomes far less about reaching a specific goal or mastering a pose and more about the feeling and experience of being in the pose – it’s a special kind of self-awareness that strengthens as you practice.This union between opposing forces allows a greater understanding of the duality you face in your daily life.
Every time you step onto your mat, it’s an opportunity to draw your attention to the present moment instead of focusing on where you once were or wish to be.
Here are 3 ways to improve your self-awareness whilst practicing Yoga:
1. Find Presence Where You’re Standing
Staying conscious of your foundation assures a strong place to build your poses. Whenever you land in a pose, be sure to keep awareness in your hands and feet or whatever is keeping you connected with the ground.
If you forget about your foundation, the pose will be extremely difficult to sustain. When your foundation is challenged or you feel off-balance, bring your focus and intention back to your foundation. What a great metaphor for our self-awareness off the mat!
2. Check-In with the Now
There’s always something to be done. Living in the future keeps our mental wheels spinning so fast that being present becomes a practical skill. Checking in with yourself in the present moment requires a consciousness of your current state of affairs.
Where are you holding tension in your body? What emotions arise for you when you sit in stillness?
Observe the natural flow of your breath without trying to change or alter it in any way. By checking in with your emotional self-awareness daily, you have an opportunity to give yourself a portion of the care and attention you freely give to others.
3. Notice the In-Between Moments
Sometimes the most information can be found in the transitions between poses. Maybe you’ve become confident being in a posture, but getting into and out of the posture is akin to a baby giraffe learning to walk. Instead of focusing on the pose as the goal, shift your energy to smoothing out each transition and building strength in every moment. It’s your control and focus during transitions that make yoga appear graceful. Paying special attention to the transitions works to strengthen your body and turns your asana practice into a better full-body workout, if that’s your intention.
The asanas are simply a physical gateway into a far more complex understanding of your own potential. When you give yourself the gift of consistently showing up for your own needs, learning, and growing, you open the door for self-acceptance and self-awareness to harmoniously exist in your life.
Let every day of your practice be a new opportunity to learn a little more about who you really are.
Written by Tarin Calmeyer and published on www.yogiapproved.com