Studio Before Studio After
It has been some time since I have written on our blog. I have wanted to share my papers I wrote for teacher training with Shiva Rea, but I have always felt shy about sharing such intimate areas of my life. Well no more, I am starting today by sharing my first paper that involves mirrors. My love/hate relationship with mirrors has been a journey and I proud to share with you my story surrounding mirrors since we now have them hanging in the studio.
This is a paper I wrote for our teacher training that was called the embodiment project. I was asked to take photos of 10 asanas that were listed and at the end of teacher training I was to take the same photos of the same poses and review how I had grown in the asanas. Enjoy.
Long ago when I first started my yoga practice, I practiced in front of mirrors. There were mirrors at the yoga studio I attended and there were mirrors in my practice room at my home. Having the mirrors really helped me to “see” and understand the correct alignment. Then, after teaching in gyms for many years, I noticed that mirrors are helpful, but they can also encourage the ego. It was then that I began to not use mirrors in my personal practice.
When I attended my first two week training with Shiva at Exhale, we were asked to take photos of ten key asanas. I felt at the time that my asanas were a great reflection of correct alignment. This was not the truth. Since I was no longer using a mirror for my own personal practice, I noticed that “feeling” my way into an asanas did not necessarily get me into the correct alignment. I needed both. The embodiment project provided me the knowledge that you can feel prana energy in your body, but it still might not be a true reflection of correct alignment.
Teaching yoga is about finding one’s own individual balance in any given asana or life situation, but without proper technique or form, you will be doing yourself a disservice. We can look at chaturanga dandasana as a great example. This pose could be providing a strong foundation for the wrists, arms, chest, and core but if taught incorrectly, it could be damaging to these areas, especially the wrists and shoulders. Correct technique starts from the instructor. You are a mirror to the student, so if your asanas are not properly aligned, this will be reflected back by your students.
Mirrors….I have come full circle with my appreciation for them once again!