How to Enhance Your Practice on The Yoga Mat
Is your asana practice serving you?
Asana is the physical practice of yoga postures. This aspect of yoga is designed to address the physical health and fitness of the body. It’s very common for us to think that in yoga we measure physical health in terms of our ability to perfect the form of a pose. However, it’s important to understand that this is not the case. During our yoga practice we base the concepts of physical fitness and health on a completely different set of standards; feeling a sense of lightness, adaptability and stability of the mind and body.
As individuals we are unique, we must learn to honour this and practice according to our body's needs, not the wants of our ego. The next time your eyes wander around the yoga room in an effort to compare your posture to others...pause for a moment...draw your awareness inwards and ask yourself the following questions.
“How am I feeling?” Embrace the feeling of lightness and ease. Make sure you adjust your position if the feelings of heaviness and pain arise. Find what feels good, there is no benefit in pushing past your ‘sweet spot.’
“What is the quality of my breath?” Checking in with the breath is a great way to gauge the nature of our asana. Maintain a slow and steady rhythm and gently ease off if the breath becomes shallow or uneasy.
“Is this yoga posture serving me and my individual needs?“ Become quiet, listen carefully and the answer will arise.
Remember the practice of asana is not about touching your toes or perfecting any form of a yoga posture. Aspire to experience a feeling of lightness, vitality and stability in the body and mind, whilst maintaining the ideal qualities of the breath.
Enjoy your experience on your mat! I would love to hear if this has helped you with your practice!