You walk into the dark, quiet yoga room hoping to relax–to check your worries at the door and not have to deal with things for a period of time. The lights gradually turn on; you hear your teacher’s voice. You stand up and BAM! there you are–reflected in the mirror, staring at yourself.
The question is: Are you re-thinking what you had for lunch, or are you calmly meeting your own eye gaze, preparing for the class to come?
From time to time we get questions about the mirrors in our studios from folks who are slightly suspicious of them. We believe mirrors are integral to building awareness in your own body (which is why they are on three walls of every Sunstone Yoga studio).
We have mirrors not to make you self-conscious or criticizing but because we want you to actually see what your body is doing. Mirrors encourage us to study our bodies and to build a relationship with it, which can be uncomfortable if you have spent your day avoiding yourself.
As you watch yourself, you will understand what your body is capable of, and less concerned with other students’ abilities. You’ll come to know what “normal” is for you in each posture. Then the mirror allows you to visually acknowledge the changes you’ve created in your body over time.
If you’re skeptical, you’re not alone. Take baby steps. Try to simply look into our own eyes throughout class. Then build confidence in your body’s ability by listening to the posture cues and watching yourself adjust your alignment. As you continue to practice, your body awareness will develop and the mirrors will become a means through which you can find focus and guidance rather than judgment.
Let the mirrors empower you and your practice!