Yoga Awareness – Part II

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Yoga Awareness – Part II

Waterfall at Yoga Teacher resortBy Gopi Rao

Many graduates of Yoga teacher training programs have heard about the development of awareness and the advancement of practitioners, but how do you do it? Luckily, Yogic methodology gives us a path toward human development.

As you continue to develop Yoga awareness, be mindful of your movements over the course of a day. Develop a deep awareness of your skeletal alignment, with special care for your spine. Begin to realize posture that causes your back and neck to compress, pinch nerves, or cause random aches and pains. Alignment of the spine depends upon how we project out from the center of the body.

Visualize the spine as an extension from the body’s center and try to draw out the straightest possible line. Yoga poses (asana) become dynamic when you move from this core. The movement and intensity of energy lines assist in undoing tight areas and help deepen the postures. Flexibility will improve as you learn how to move in alignment with your energy centre. New space will come in and your body will move gracefully into deeper postures.

Through Yoga training, we learn that the body is a tool that can function beyond the limitations of preconceived notions within the mind. By loosening the body, and loosening the mind, a new polarity occurs as you gain balance and begin to physically operate from your center and transcend previous mental limitations.

Hatha Yoga can be considered a human science that works to improve poor posture, body aches, faulty breathing, incorrect walking, and teach awareness of the body as a whole. Recognize all your body does for you and you may discover that you are capable of much more than you ever thought.

Take cues from your body as it tells you what it needs. In honoring your body, you are honoring yourself. In order to extend compassion to others you must first be compassionate to yourself. Set aside the time to reward yourself. Many people give time to others and will not take five minutes out of the day for meditation or pranayama.

Do not feel guilty in taking time to stretch, walk, meditate, practice poses or do journal writing. You owe it to yourself to do these things for your own good health. As you get into the habit of healthy living, negative habits will drop away.  A short Yogic breathing (pranayama) session during the day can cleanse the mind and body just as much as asana practice.

Yoga asana is just one step on the pathway toward higher awareness and it all starts with the mind and body connection. Appreciate your body and you will be rewarded with optimum health. In the face of disease, recognize what resources are available to you to promote self-healing. Even when suffering a lengthy illness there are Yoga practices available to you. Yoga training grants you the power of transformation and promotes healing from within.

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