Why Do Yoga?
One reason to begin a yoga practice is to improve (or focus on) body awareness.
A simple way to practice body awareness is to practice moving a part of your body repeatedly (and slowly and smoothly) while focusing on the sensations generated by that movement.
I call this muscle control.
Muscle Control and Body Awareness
How does muscle control relate to body awareness?
- Muscles are what we use to move our body.
- Muscles are also what we use to sense (or proprioceive) our body.
If we didn't have muscles we wouldn't be able to feel our body. And we need to be able to feel our body in order to effectively control it.
So if you are starting yoga to improve your body awareness, one place you can start is with muscle control. It's a way of helping you learn to feel your body as well as control it.
Start Yoga to Get More Flexible
Say you want to get more flexible.
Most flexibility techniques include some aspect of muscle control.
To get more flexible you are either relaxing muscle or deliberately activating it.
The better you are at controlling your muscles (and feeling them) the easier it is to get more flexible.
Protect Your Joints
If you are getting into yoga for health and better longevity, something you should consider is protecting your joints.
Muscles directly affect your joints, helping to keep them lubricated.
Part of keeping joints lubricated is maintaining space between articular surfaces.
This allows lubricating fluid to flow between mating surfaces.
It also allows tension to be distributed evenly throughout the joint capsule and connected connective tissue.
If your muscles aren't working properly, your joints are more likely to fail. Since muscles create sensation, if you can feel your muscles activating you are more likely to be able to keep your joints lubricated and fully functional.
Yoga to Help You Stop Thinking So Much
Maybe you are getting into yoga for peace of mind. Maybe you find yourself thinking too much. Maybe you are in a constant state of fight-or-flight.
A big benefit of muscle control, particularly if you focus on slowly and smoothly activating and relaxing, is that like many breathing exercises it can help bring you into the present.
Being present makes it easier to calm down and relax.
One way to define being present is that it is an awake state where you aren't thinking.
Your mind is silent, but Aware.
Muscle Control and Being Present
How does muscle control help you become present?
Because the repeated turning on and off of your muscles gives you something to focus on. And that something is within your body.
And since you are practicing controlling sensations within your body by deliberately turning muscles on and off, that can make it easier to learn how to control your thoughts, turning them on and off at will.
5 Beginners Yoga Routines
5 Beginner Yoga Routines helps you to get started learning yoga.
It has 5 routines, all of which can be broken into smaller mini-routines. Flexibility isn't a requirement. Nor is experience.
5 Beginner Yoga Routines helps you use muscle control as a way of feeling and learning your body and to become more present.