Mirror, Mirror

So, sometimes when life gets busy, I sneak into the studio a few minutes before my class to practice yoga before actually teaching it.  The other day when I was in the beautiful Sky room at Beyond, it occurred to me there were no mirrors.  While I obviously have been aware of this before, perhaps it was more relevant on this day as I was practicing yoga for one of my favourite, and ironically least favourite benefits.  What I like to call the FYOS benefit of yoga; Face Your Own, well Stuff (fyi, that is a g-rated substitution on the S word).  Yes, my friends, one of the greatest, and often most difficult side effects of yoga is how much it makes us really look in the mirror, even when, or perhaps especially when, there isn’t one.  And honestly, sometimes that ain’t pretty.

*clearly not that healthy yogic glow…

Envy, jealousy, self-doubt, resentment and insecurity are all feelings we all have, sometimes every day.  And that’s okay.  It is what we do with them that matters.  Ignoring them does not work, trust me, I have spent many a days trying that one.  This just allows those feelings to fester, grow and strengthen. No matter what we do, they will come out somehow, and often in really unhealthy and sometimes quite hurtful ways.  Silent resentment, petty putdowns, tears, blame, mean sarcasm, self destruction, and my personal favourite (said tongue in cheek) outbursts of anger are helpful to no one, and generally leave everyone involved feeling like rubbish.

*Thar she blows…but let’s be honest, it never looks this pretty.

The mirror, or lack of, in yoga can really help.  Ugly emotions are not fun.  Acknowledging them, even less so, but very necessary.  Truthfully, much better to do on your own, on your yoga mat, then in any of the above unhelpful ways.  Trust me, I have tried both, yoga is definitely better.

It is actually very self-centred, this practice of yoga.  When you are on your mat, your whole focus is to be on you, your breath, your movement, your mind.  And this focus on your self, helps you, well, focus on your self.  Face your own stuff if you will.  Which can be difficult I truly know, but luckily the practice of yoga is also generally a serious confidence boost, reminding us we can handle anything, especially our own feelings.

*Doesn’t he look confident?

This is the thing…the season of festivities and festering feelings, is coming quickly.  And never is there a time of year that I know of with more expectations, emotions and energy.  All much better faced with yoga.  Ironically, the holiday season is probably the one we look most in the mirror literally, so why not figuratively too. Unroll your yoga mat, trust me, you won’t regret it.

P.S. I would love to hear what you think.  Please “Leave a Reply” below, or you can email me directly at yogabeyondwords@gmail.com.

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Posted by: Cara-Lynne Auld

It was the late 1990s when I first practiced yoga. My Mom had signed us up for a 6 week course taught at a rustic cottage on the outskirts of a small town. The instructor had shaved her head and changed her name to one I couldn’t pronounce, but she weaved the magic that comes with a great class. I loved it then, and have since, but like many great love affairs, we had our ups and downs, yoga and ... read bio

8 Responses to “Mirror, Mirror”

  1. Sally says:

    Great blog and very timely. Thanks CL.

  2. Diane Lanthier says:

    I love your blogs! They always make you see and understand yourself a little more. You are such an excellent writer. I always look forward to reading them. I’ll be spending a lot of time on my mat for the next month. I want to do another 30 day challenge. I’ve done it twice before and felt so incredible during and afterwards. It will give me that bit of time for myself, during a usually hectic time. Thank you Cara-Lynne. See you on the mat.

    • Cara-Lynne Auld says:

      Thanks Diane, I appreciate that so much. That is so cool that you are doing your 3rd 30 day Challenge, what an undertaking, good for you. For the record Diane, some of my favourite times on the mat are definitely in your Hatha class on Friday and Sunday mornings. Thank you again. Namaste.

  3. Brenda siebarth says:

    Well said..


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