"All of man's trouble stem from his inability to sit quietly in a room alone"
~ Blaise Pascal ~
One of the primary objectives in any form of yoga asana is to bring about greater bodily awareness. In every moment of every day our bodies are transmitting electrical signals along the nervous system to the brain to act as conscious feedback about your body’s general health and well-being. Many of these signals such as hunger, thirst or tiredness we react to and satisfy the body’s demand, but many others we ignore. Eventually when we continue to ignore the signals of imbalance within our body more serious problems such as chronic pain, disease (dis-ease) or obesity can develop.
Yoga brings about a heightened state of bodily consciousness, and when practiced correctly allows us to listen more clearly to what our body wants and take action quickly to restore equilibrium to the system. And when we know what our body REALLY wants we can begin to treat our precious vessel with a greater degree of care so it stays in better health and lasts longer!
Each asana works on realigning specific areas of the body that are out of balance. As you practice them you will experience your senses being naturally drawn inwards to the specific areas of the body that feel stiff, tight or uncomfortable. In time, and with enough practice, these areas of the body will open and strengthen, coming back into balance. But in order for this transformation to occur without injury or problem we must listen to our bodies and play the fine line between going deep enough into a posture for it to have a beneficial effect, and not going too far and causing injury. This is why you are encouraged to practice each posture with mindfulness. Listening to you body is the key to knowing what you are capable of on any given day and in any one posture. Remember…
Every body is different, and every day is different for every body
If a posture feels difficult or challenging there is an imbalance in the areas of the body that asana is working on. Consequently that posture will be having a beneficial effect on your system, even though it might not feel like it when you are in it! Postures that feel easy and can be done with very little effort are not as beneficial.