To Look Or Not To LookFeb 25, 2022
Good Vibes. Tunes. Essential Oils. Laughs + Chats. Thousands of short white hairs. These are the things we do have at Vital Beat, courtesy of our tribe, our teachers and of course, Daisy Duke.
What we don’t have is mirrors. You might be wondering why, and I’m about to tell you.
At Vital Beat, we weave non-judgement and acceptance into everything we do. We teach yoga that invites you to see who you really are on the inside (where it counts), not the superficial outer layer of your body. Yoga doesn’t care what you look like, your teachers certainly don’t, and you would know for yourself that it doesn’t make a difference to your practice if you rock up in brand new athleisure or daggy old trackies. Putting mirrors up would give a different impression, wouldn’t it?
Taking it back to the old school, yoga is a system for self-discovery; of realising that your ego and your thoughts do not define you.
Have you ever been walking along, minding your business and looked up to see your reflection in a mirror? What happens? You’re instantly drawn to the reflection. Into the egoic idea of self, into a whirlwind of ‘OMG is my hair really like that/ What’s wrong with my face/ Did I get dressed in the dark?’ type thinking, and totally out of presence.
Imagine that in a yoga space? The very place we want to cultivate presence and awareness of true Self. Uh-uh honey.
So, what could mirrors be useful for? Checking alignment, you say? That’s what we’re here for! Apart from guiding the flow, we’re here to be your eyes. We’ll make sure you stay safe and help you modify the practice for any injuries or aches you’ve shared with us, and we’ll give you gentle invitations to correct or deepen your shapes.
You’ve probably also heard us say that yoga isn’t about what it looks like, but what it feels like. This goes for emotions and physical sensation. We want you to FEEL your practice. Learn your body. Not stare at the reflection of it. We want you to develop body awareness and proprioception - where your body is in space and how it FEELS in your body as you learn to self-adjust.
Finally, do you know how hard it is to focus on your dristi when you can see the reflection of an entire class? Imagine being able to see a room full of people wobbling in dancers pose? I’ve been there, and the word dominos springs to mind as an accurate description.
The beauty of having a teacher in the room is that you can hand it all over to us. You don’t need to be busying your mind with remembering the flow or thinking of variations for shapes. That’s what we’re here for. And one day it will get to a point where you’ll realise that you don’t need us. Yoga to have you so deeply connected that you just know what is right for you.
Moral of the story; you don’t need to see your reflection to know you’re aligned – literally and figuratively.