'the most important issue in hatha yoga is not flexibility and the ability to do difficult postures, but awareness - awareness of the body and the breath.'
H. David Coulter 'Anatomy of Hatha Yoga'

This is something I noticed when I began practising yoga, my awareness increased.

Being present and aware is very important. It helps you to notice habits which do not serve you and with awareness you can change them. For example tensing the body when you do not need to, causes unnecessary tension, and stress, sometimes leading to longterm problems.

Becoming aware of practices which actually harm you means that you can avoid them or change your behaviour, so tht you do less harm to yourself.

Being aware of what makes you feel good, healthy, calm, means you can use these things to increase feelings of calm and health.

'Never discourage anyone.......who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.' Plato

Yoga poses are meant to train the body to be healthy and supple. Stretching and relaxation helps to reduce tension in stress carrying muscles. Stretching increases blood flow to the whole body.

Unlike some exercises the physical practices of yoga stretch and strengthen both sides of the body equally.

Hatha yoga prepares your mind mentally for meditation which, in turn, reduces stress and enhances mood.

'How centred and balance we are during our practice, along with the level of control we have over our breath and our minds is what determines our progress on this path. It has nothing to do with physical prowess or the ability to perform fancy postures and lengthy, complicated sequences.'
Barbara Coley of Svastha Yoga NZ

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