Hatha Yoga and Conscious Movement

What is there to be conscious about? Don’t our bodies almost move automatically? The signal get’s sent so fast from the brain that we hardly notice that all our bodily movements happen simultaneously and without much effort, depending on the activity. Aren’t we lucky to be able to have such an easeful system working for us? Do we notice when something doesn’t feel quite right? Or we feel a little shot of pain and then it disappears? If we keep taking our bodies for granted it will eventually get your attention.

How long do we ignore the aches and pains that seem to creep up on us, seemingly “all of a sudden?” I am certainly guilty of this, thinking it will go away, it was a fluke, or plain disregard it. There’s too much to do! Being a wife, mom, teacher and friend is time consuming. Don’t we all have too much to do? And in the meantime our bodies are screaming for our attention. We really need to start listening. We really need to notice sooner than later that our bodies need nurturing and tlc. If we choose to overlook the signs, we are headed for deep trouble, making it even more difficult and a longer road to healing. There’s been so many times when I just reached for something and my back would go out or I put on my seatbelt and a rib would go.

Practicing Hatha Yoga has made me super aware of my body. I feel everything! The good part is that because of this acute awareness, I can address the issue right away and recover quicker. I try to analyze the source of the pain, what may have triggered it and then explore ways to modify my movements to allow healing to take place. Sometimes this involves a chiropractor and/or massage, icing and /or heat, and not expecting myself to do what everyone else is doing in my classes.

Over time, practicing hatha Yoga develops more awareness so that you no longer have to force yourself onto an asana(pose), that asana becomes a practice in alignment, ease, and how everything feels while holding it. Each class is a journey to deepen the awareness and connection between body, mind and spirit, and a lesson in humility. When we realize that the body is limited and constantly changing, that the mind is limited and constantly changing, we can then be o.k. with that and be more accepting and loving towards our bodies. Make every movement a conscious one, on and off the mat. Every turn, twist, every step we take has a purpose, to guide us to a higher awareness of our bodies and ultimately ourselves.