Mantra Monday: Keys To Refining Your Yoga Practice

Are you at the point in your practice where you are working on refining each pose?  If you are working within your body to understand and create the alignment of each pose, really trying to open the hips and chest, to stack the bones in each pose and create space within your body, then you are refining your practice!  Something I have been working on recently, with the encouragement of my teachers, is to really try to press my entire hands and feet down throughout the practice.  This is so hard!  Getting the webbing down between my thumb and pointer finger and having all the joints pressing down into the floor causes me to have to engage every muscle in my arms. It’s beyond challenging, but I know it is making my practice more complete.  Pressing the foot down in each pose is the same type of thing.

In the Warrior poses, it’s easy to have the outside edge of the back foot sneak off the ground, but by engaging the entire back leg, I’m working on keeping it grounded.  I can feel my ankles getting stronger by practicing with this new level of awareness. And that’s exactly what practicing with these minute details is about: becoming more and more aware of your own body, tuning your instrument.  Where once we could barely articulate our spine and hips, now the focus has become smaller and smaller as we can pay attention to it more.  Paying attention to these small details also helps draw your focus away from the outside world and into your own body.  Your mastery becomes more and more subtle, and your awareness and understanding becomes deeper.

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