What does self-actualization or self-awareness mean to you? Self-awareness means different things to different people, but here are some ways to look at self-awareness. Self-awareness is ...
> Pausing before your emotions take over your actions, and eventually finding out that your emotions can exist without taking over.
> Feeling truly connected to another living thing—a parent, a child, a friend, a stranger in need, that stray cat that keeps hanging around.
> Breathing deeply and slowly; noticing how different that feels.
> Looking in the mirror and seeing beyond your reflection; seeing the inner you written all over your face.
> Having vision and direction in your life; finding a deeper calling and heeding it.
> Recognizing that the sun salutation (see Chapter 16, "A Continuous Flow") is reflective of the ebb and flow of life; finding the connection every day.
> Finding the clear steadiness of the eyes in an externally changing face; both inner and outer movement are ever possible.
> Experiencing pure joy simply by looking at something beautiful; you don't need to own it. You can be with it, then let it go.
> Finding inner peace. Om.
When the body is strong, controlled, and purified, kundalini energy can move freely up the spine and through the chakras without getting blocked anywhere along the way. (See Chapter 20, "Chakras, Mudras, Mantras, and Mandalas.") If kundalini energy gets blocked, both physical and mental problems could result. The body that's physically prepared for the rise of kundalini energy will derive the ultimate benefit from its power. Hatha Yoga is that physical preparation.
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