The gift in pain
Since I did more surgery to remove some skin on my back and two lymph nodes two weeks ago, I'm not supposed to work-out or do anything straining too much for at least three weeks. I'm also healing my teeth bone for my implants to be ready in a couple of months to be fastened. Nonetheless, I certainly need my yoga. So, this past Tuesday, I really felt an urge to practice yoga since I felt both a bit stiff and most of all that my energy wasn't flowing the way it usually does. To me, doing yoga is like washing my hair. I feel the need to and then do.
This time, however, I was even more mindfully present in my body, letting every motion I did really be experienced with engaged muscles. To really feel where and how each asana physically affected me to avoid any strain on my wounds, enabled me a greater awareness and presence in my practice. This is of course how we always should practice yoga, but I have for quite some years just done asanas out of habit and almost felt rested in each, rather than engaging my muscles fully. I have had to push myself more and developed some of the motions to more advanced.
How can you increase your awareness in your own practice? Can you feel how different parts of your body becomes stretched, contracted or released?