Yoga is all about observation and body/mind awareness.
When we ask ourselves, “What am I doing?” and “Why am I doing it?” our minds open. This is self-awareness. However, it is necessary to point out that students should be self-aware, not self-conscious, which will cause you to strain your muscles and exhaust yourself. Self-awareness is the opposite of self-consciousness…
–“Light on Life” by B.K.S. Iyengar
MY TWO CENTS: And the above quote might be paraphrased a little… but self-aware on the mat means you’re fully looking inside yourself and aware of the stretch and the experience of the asana in your body, not detached from your body and seeing yourself as you imagine others see you or trying to match the shape of your body to the shape of any other body in the room.
That’s not to say practicing in community and encouraging each other to work harder and seek challenges to become stronger isn’t also good. But it’s two different things. 🙂