If you want to get the most out of your yoga I believe that one of the key things to do is learn to notice what is going on in your body. We spend so much of our time in our heads, we’re not so good at observing ourselves physically.

When I’m demonstrating, students tend to have their eyes glued on what I’m doing - perhaps sometimes to the detriment of their own practice. If I stop, they stop! There is a danger that students try to copy the posture without thinking why they are doing it, or strive to go too far into a stretch, rather than hold back if in pain or discomfort.

I saw an example of that today in a yoga class I attended, where the man in front copied the teacher’s (very good) forward bend, only to clutch at his back in pain, and leave a few minutes later.

These last few weeks in class, I’ve been giving you more opportunity to pay attention how you feel as you move in and out of some simple positions. A good example of this is turning the head to one side, and then the other, when lying down. Another is exploring how the spine is moving in cat/cow.

The practice below comes from the Sequence Wiz website, which I find a great source of inspiration. It sets out some of the questions to think about when you are doing a sequence designed to release tension in the neck and shoulders.