Do you remember the first time when your yoga teacher asked you to do poses which seem unnatural and you feel that your body refuse to listen to your command? It is not awkward but rather normal for all yoga practitioners. No matter how great they are, they experienced this feeling when they first started practicing yoga.
I believed that most practitioners have experienced at least once in their practice, the moment whereby they can make a perfect yoga pose and try to figure out how does that even happen. They were thinking hard and trying to find a reason on why suddenly they can make the pose which they have been striving to make before. But that very moment they are suddenly rendered unable to make the exact same yoga pose again.
Yoga is not the art of making difficult poses, but rather a union between body, mind and soul. Cultivation of awareness is the key in practicing yoga. Without the awareness you are not practicing yoga as per what it is supposed to be, but it is merely a training for your body which is against the main principle of yoga. It is not easy but not impossible to cultivate and develop awareness when you practice yoga.
The preparation includes being aware about the place whereby you are practicing yoga in. The floor you are standing, the texture of the mat and the sound of the air that we breathe in and out. Try to do those steps as the preparation before you start practicing yoga.
The first step in gaining the awareness is by being aware of your own body first. It is very important because body is the first thing that you can touch, feel and see. Then we progress by developing awareness of our own breath. Slowly connect it to the movement of the asanas. And the final step is by bringing the awareness to the mind as the connection to the breath and the movements of thoughts are connected. Try to be aware of your existence as a human in the world.
Bringing those senses of awareness to our practice will definitely change the experience that we have when we practice yoga. You will gain realization and understanding about many areas of our life. The choices that we made, the food that we eat and the time that we spend are few things that you may understand once you bring the sense of awareness. I tried it and certain poses will become easier when you do it with awareness & control.