Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Mirror Conspiracy

Yoga and Pilates are both mind/body systems. They focus on how you feel in the posture or pose, alignment and being present in your body.  So how do you feel and react to a class with mirrors? And does it differ for you from one system to the other?

For me it differs from one to the another. In Pilates, I like having a mirror to check in on structural alignment and posture to be sure that what I am feeling and seeing are the same.  I tend to use it more from a side view rather than a frontal view.  And use it as a tool, but not throughout the entire session.  In Yoga, I am completely thrown by a mirror. It messes with my sense of balance in standing postures and I find I am not able to stay inside with my breath and postures but taken into a place of judgement by the visual. The absolute reverse effect of what I am looking for in my Yoga practice.

I am always amused by people who throughout a class or workout are so drawn in by their reflection in the mirror.  Yoga and Pilates are about connecting internally. The external results that happen are just a cherry on top of the sundae.  So next time you are in a class with mirrors take notice of how much you notice your reflection.  Are you using it for vanity or growth? Are you able to only see externally or internally as well? Is visual your strongest sense of self?  Challenge yourself to look inward, rather than outward and your reflection of yourself might just surprise you.

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