The first thing to remember is that no indoctrination or autosuggestion is required. If you practise yoga then it will automatically show itself or to be more exact, if you do your practices correctly then awareness will gradually develop. There are many different methods to increase awareness. In fact all the different methods of yoga - karma yoga, bhakti yoga, mantra yoga and kriya yoga - are designed for this purpose. They all use different methods to achieve the same end.
When you do asanas and pranayama, as well as meditational techniques, that we will shortly introduce, the emphasis should be on awareness. This awareness implies that your attention is directed to a specific function or activity. It means that your attention is on something specific, perhaps breath, and that you simultaneously know that your attention is on that particular activity. In other words, if you are aware of your breath it means that you know that you are breathing and you are witnessing the breathing process. You are standing back and watching something that is occurring within you. It is the first step up the ladder to higher awareness. You are becoming a witness to all the activities of the body. This will lead eventually to the ability to witness the actions of the mind and then gradually the deeper aspects of mind which you may now think impossible.
This is the essence of awareness - the fact that you know that you are doing something and that you are observing the action. If you move the body and at the same time don't realize that your body is moving and simultaneously observe the movement, then you are not aware. To be a witness is to be aware. To be totally lost, involved and identified with an action is to be unaware.
When one practises asanas, pranayama and meditational practices awareness is essential. Without it these yogic practices lose their significance and ninety percent of their benefits. Ifyou are angry, worried or unhappy and your mind is playing havoc, don't worry. If you are doing your asanas and you are overwhelmed by streams of thoughts when we have advised you to be aware of breath, don't by any means become frustrated. Merely watch the stream of thoughts and the breath, witness them, be aware of them.
The practice of asanas, pranayama and medi-tational practices develops awareness on a temporary basis. They give one a taste of what awareness means at a rudimentary level. From them, it is possible with effort to be a witness to your thoughts and physical actions throughout the day. One can watch, observe the body and mind performing the duties in the way they have been designed. One watches the antics of the body and mind as one would watch a puppet.
So when doing yoga practices be aware of what you are doing. The whole point of yoga is to unfold and make you aware of your deeper aspects.
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Discover How to Practice Yoga! Now you can use a practical stepbystep guide to learn Yoga techniques. Including the Practices and Exercises of Concentration, both Objective and Subjective, and Active and Passive Mentation, an Elucidation of Maya, Guru Worship, and the Worship of the Terrible, also the Mystery of Will-Force.