In movies, we know it metaphorically as “the force,” or “a sixth sense.” But in Yoga Therapy, we know it as awareness or a heightened sense of being present to what you are experiencing. What exactly is this awareness and how can it help you be healthier and live a better life?
The capacity for greater awareness, or being more present to what you are experiencing at any given moment, is one of the indirect benefits of Yoga Therapy. The more aware we are, the more we pick up on feelings in our body and the better our ability to take care of ourselves. Additionally, when we are more aware, we make better decisions and take better actions.
For example, one of my clients has chronic pain. While initially my work with her was focused on pain reduction, over time it also helped her to become more mindful of those activities that caused her pain. Her awareness showed her that she could make adjustments in how she cooked—her standing posture and positioning relative to the stove. When someone has health conditions, healing is just as much about managing the conditions as it is about reducing them. In managing conditions, awareness is key!
Other indirect benefits associated with Yoga Therapy include better perception, greater patience, and better decision-making. While indirect, these benefits oftentimes play a key role in achieving direct benefits such as pain reduction, reducing symptoms, and the reduction and/or reversal of chronic illness.