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3 steps to Grow your Awareness


When I am teaching in my yoga classes, no matter the cue that I am giving, some people just don’t pick it up. Or maybe they do pick it up and just aren’t fully aware of their bodies so think they are following the instruction when they aren’t.

Now being able to focus on what the teacher is saying and becoming more aware of your body will come in time, however in saying that, it’s also important to prevent injuries.

This is why we have pain receptors. These pain receptors tell us when something is wrong, not for us to panic or get frustrated with ourselves but to make a change.

Please remember IT IS NOT ABOUT HOW A POSE LOOKS, IT IS ABOUT HOW IT FEELS.

If something does not feel right then don’t do it. We are all different. There is only 1 of us on this planet. We are unique, so why do we feel the need to be exactly like everyone else? Why do we try to copy exactly what the teacher is doing or the person next to us is doing? There are things other people find easy that I will find hard, and some things I find easy that others find hard, and that is perfectly okay.

This is why I say in all my classes ‘go with how your body feels’. When you are in a forward fold and something feels a bit off, adapt your body so it feels good or ask the teacher to help either before, during or after the class (what ever you feel most comfortable with). To adapt your body you need to firstly become aware of it. How can you pinpoint what doesn't feel aligned when you aren’t allowing yourself to be fully aware of the problem?

This is what yoga is all about. Awareness. Awareness of breath, awareness of movement, awareness of your body, awareness of the teacher and what is going on around you.

When I start my classes, this is the first thing we do. We start on the mat, lying down, scan the body, tune in to our breath and our mental state. We start our practice by becoming aware of how we feel in the present moment. This doesn’t have to just be before a yoga class, this can be done anywhere and at anytime.

Practicing awareness can help with many things and one of these things is injuries. Noticing our physical alignment and adjusting it accordingly can help with many aches and pains. For example, when I sit for a long time, I can get very tight in my neck and shoulders. I have realised it is because of the way that I am sitting. I round through my upper back, my shoulders are lifted slightly, my chin protrudes out and I compress the back of my neck. Now this still happens whenever I sit for a long time. It’s a habit I have built for as long as I have been able to sit, so getting rid of that habit will take time but you need to be aware of it before you can make any changes. I constantly check in to see if I can fix my posture or get some pillows to sit on or place something at my lower back to help support it.

Basically what I am saying is yoga is a great way to strengthen your awareness but so is this 3 step process that I am going to share with you so you can implement exercising your awareness not just in a yoga class:

1. Body Scan

Start either at the top of the head or the tips of the toes and send your awareness/focus through your entire body. Scan each body part and tell it to relax. Relaxing the hands and feet, the arms and legs, the whole front of your body and the whole back of your body. Relax your neck, shoulders and facial muscles, like your jaw, cheeks, space between the eyebrows and your forehead.

2. External Audio

With your eyes closed begin to notice all the external sounds. Become aware of the noises around you. People talking, cars driving past, machinery…….whatever it is, notice it. Become present.

3. Breath

Then tune in to how your breath feels. Is it fast or slow, long or short, shallow or deep, erratic or smooth? Start to take deeper breaths. Inhale for a minimum of 3 seconds and exhale for a minimum of 5 seconds.

If you want to access a FREE VIDEO on How to Breathe Correctly then head over to my last blog YOGA FOR DIGESTION and you will get it there.


Honestly being more aware in all aspects of my life as allowed me to gain clarity and focus in all I set out to do and has gifted me with a sense of peace. So try this 3 step process and let me know how you get on.

Sending love to you all

Jen

Xxx


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