Improving body awareness makes it easier to fix problems yourself when they arise.
As an example, I was experiencing shoulder pain when lifting my arms or reaching them out to the sides. It also strongly inhibited my ability to do wheel pose.
While meditating on the muscles of my body I moved my focus to my diaphragm. I noticed that the right side wasn't activating, or at least wasn't activating as much as the left side.
There was a noticeable lack of sensation on my right side compared to my left. In particular I could feel a change in sensation on the left side of my waist but not my right. I then focused on trying to activate my diaphragm in such a way that it created the same feeling on both sides.
At the time I didn't think this related to my shoulder pain. But then while doing wheel pose I decided to focus on activating my diaphragm, along with contracting the psoas (which had been my main focus for so long I'd forgotten to be aware of everything else.) I focused on pulling my kidneys towards my throat to activate my psoas.
Guess what. No shoulder pain. Wheel pose actually felt easier. Not easy, but easier than it had been in a while.
If I'd come across this by accident, (which I sort of did,) but didn't know about body awareness, I could just have done a post called "the diaphragm is connected to the shoulder" and taught people how to fix their shoulder pain by making sure that their diaphragm was fully operational.
The problem with that "formulaic approach" is that shoulder pain may or may not be caused by a partially inactive diaphragm.
Instead, what I am trying to sell is the idea of improving both body awareness and ones ability to control their own body
By being increasingly more body aware I can learn to feel which muscles are activating or deliberately activate (or relax muscles) by looking for the feeling of activation or relaxation.
I can notice what is active and what is not and I can make choices. Hmm, lets try to activate the diaphragm and see what happens. Now what if I relax this muscle.... ah, not such a good idea. I'll keep that relaxed...
By being aware of my body I can fault find it, I can become my own mechanic.
(To feel my diaphragm one exercise I do is belly breathing or diaphragmatic breathing.)
It reminds me of a time my dad picked me up on his motorbike.
It was night time and when he started his bike the headlight didn't work.
I can't remember what we checked, or if we checked anything at all. I think we assumed the bulb was busted and so we rode home in stealth mode.
Later on checking the manual, we decided to check the fuses.
Dagnabbit, the fuse for the headlight was oversize and it'd slipped from it's brackets.
A simple fix and if we'd checked we could have sorted out the problem before we road home.
A similiar incident occurred when I was in the army. My job was fixing guns.
On the ranges someone was having a problem with their machine gun not feeding properly.
I took a quick look and figured out that the top cover feed mechanism was broken so replaced the top cover. Later on taking a closer look I found that the problem was that a clip had fallen of.
I could have fixed the problem by just replacing that tiny little clip.
Now I had to clean the top cover I'd taken of so that I could put it back in our spares pack.
While I had fixed the problem the fix wasn't as elegant as it could have been had I looked a little bit more closely.
When we work at improving body awareness we develop the ability to fault find our own body. sense our body so that we can do the equivalent of being able to check a fuse or see if a clip has fallen of. But instead of using our eyes we use other senses.
Learn how to use Friction to improve leg and arm strength.
Simple exercises with easy to follow instructions
Making difficult poses like Chaturanga Dandasana easier to learn.
Learn Your Body with
Frictional Arm and Leg Strength
PDF or Video
Nauli kriya is a great party trick (look what I can do) but it is also a great way to train the intercostals and stretch the diaphragm.
One way to avoid Hip Joint Popping is by learning to feel the hip joint so that you can keep it centered. So what does centered mean?
IT Band Anatomy and Biomechanics
Anatomy and Biomechanics for Body Awareness and control focuses on understanding the anatomy and biomechanics relevant to feeling your body and controlling it.
When doing yoga poses or exercises for balance, stability and responsiveness are basic requiremenets for finding and keeping balanced.
Foot Anatomy and Biomechanics including Tibialis Posterior, Peroneus Longus, Peroneus Brevis and Tibialis Anterior .
Serratus Posterior Inferior can be used to help anchor the latissimus dorsai muscle (making it easier to do chin ups for example).
Having difficulty bending your thoracic spine backwards? Use your Levator Costarum muscles to lift your back ribs. Then use your erector spinae to bend your spine (and ribcage) backwards.
Improve Strength, Flexiblity, Body Awareness. Muscle control is at the heart of all of these.
You can practice scapular control with the arm movements of the dance of shiva. Scapular stabilization and control can be important when trying to bind in yoga poses like Marichyasana A.
Lifting up into eka pada bakasana from marichyasana A with tips on lifting up and balancing while transitioning from the binding yoga pose to the arm balance.
Grabbing a wrist behind your back. Tips for Binding in Marichyasana C.
How to grab your hand behind your back. Tips for binding in Marichyasana A.
Steps for working towards bound side angle so that you can bind a little more easily.
Modified Marichyasana B is done with the other leg not in lotus. This pose can still be challenging to bind it, so some tips on how to bind with awareness.
Tips for working towards binding in Bound Twisting Side Angle Pose.
Steps for Binding in Seated Half Bound Lotus Pose as well as modifications if you can't bind, and actions you can do when you do bind.
Balancing in side plank can be made easier to learn if you learn the necessary actions step-by-step with this sensational yoga poses yoga tutorial.
The standing forward bend yoga pose can be used to stretch or strengthen the hamstrings and glutes. It can also be used to stretch and strengthen the calves and as a balance exercise.
Yoga forward bends includes forwards bends for the hips and spine. Forward bends for the hips include both bent and straight straight positions.