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10329 Illinois Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46814

Phone: 260-627-YOGA (9642)


Friday, June 7, 2013

How Can You See Yourself… When You Can See Yourself? By Lauren McMann

 When I am practicing my asana, I truly see myself for who I am. I feel powerful, beautiful, serene, and at peace with body. It is the one time where I am not feeling that strain of judgment of my physical body interfering with my life. Stepping into my studio, whether it be my home space or PranaYoga, I feel it all fall away, and I look forward to an hour and a half of true “me” time.

            While out of town this week for work, I decided to find a studio to practice and decompress from a stressful work week. I was really excited about practicing at a new studio- almost like taking a yoga vacation! The studio was absolutely beautiful, the teachers and students welcoming, and don’t even get me started about the new and exciting retail that I perused.

            After I changed clothes and stepped into the space, I noticed that the wall that our mats were facing was a wall of floor to ceiling mirrors. I had never practiced in front of mirrors before, and I was interested to see what my practice actually looked like in the flesh. We started at the top of our mats in mountain pose. I immediately noticed that the shirt that I had chosen to wear made me look awfully wide. I looked over at the girl next to me, thinking that maybe the mirrors had a strange effect on our bodies, but she looked the same width in the mirror as she did in person. Interesting. Maybe I would not choose to wear this shirt in the future. It did nothing for me, visually.

By the time I was getting over the hideous shirt, we were through sun salutations. Time for some standing poses. Warrior II. OH MY GOODNESS. Is anyone noticing the fact that my stomach is sticking out this far? I look like I am with child. Mula bhanda, Lauren. Tuck that bad boy in. I suppose that looks a little better… it’s probably just the brownie that I shared with a friend after dinner.  

By this point, I was hoping for any pose that would put us in the opposite direction of the mirror, or involved laying on our backs. The entire class, I was scrutinizing my make-up, clothing, and physical body. There were a couple of times that I noticed a posture needed adjusted, but I probably missed some obvious corrections that I could have made due to observing that my hair was getting frizzier and frizzier.

Which begs my original questions- How can you see yourself, when you can see yourself? How are you supposed to look inward if you are looking outward? If PranaYoga had mirrors in their studio, would I be able to overcome this obstacle, or would I have never fallen in love with yoga?

I left the class feeling dejected and more stressed than I was before I walked in. As I was sitting at lunch the next day, eating my PLAIN grilled chicken, thank you very much, I decided that I would not again choose to practice in front of a mirror. I prefer the way that I see myself without getting my reflection’s opinion.

-Lauren McMann, Is currently enrolled in PranaYoga's Yoga Teacher Training, Karma Yogi Support Staff at PranaYoga School of Yoga and Health. In her spare time she is  Branch Manager and Associates Vice President at Old National Bank, a Newlywed, and Proud mother of four fur children.

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