Hillary Gibson has featured the following blog on www.yogajournal.com asking the question ‘what value to mirrors bring to a yoga class?’
Hillary raises some valid points in her argument, stating that the presence of mirrors can rouse competitiveness (both internally and towards others taking the class).
In defense of mirrors, I think if you can avoid comparing yourself to others (favorably or otherwise) they can be useful to correct poses. Quite often a quick glance in the mirror has revealed that what I am actually doing is completely different to what I think I am doing!
The key disadvantage is that sometimes it can be very difficult to silence your inner critic when twisting around and catching sight of yourself in yoga pants at an unflattering angle. However you could argue that learning to control these feelings is all part of the process.
Hillary also suggests that some participants enjoy the opportunity to pull ‘model faces’ in the mirrors instead of focusing on their practice. I can’t help but feel this is uncharitable and that these ‘model faces’ could instead be concentration and that judging her yoga buddies in this way is another symptom of competitiveness! Although of course if the mirror wasn’t there she wouldn’t have seen it…
Practically speaking I think we will have to get used to the presence of mirrors in yoga class as most classes are held in spaces where a number of exercise classes are carried out.
What do you think about mirrors in class? Useful learning aide or narcissistic distraction?