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July 2, 2013

Staring at Your Naked Reflection Every Day Can Change Your Life. ~ Andrea Jacobs

A mirror can reflect more than just the external.

It has come to my attention that, visually, I know my body insanely well. I know the contours of my stomach, thighs, calves, cheeks (both sets!), and my groin lines practically down to the pixel.

I know that if I stick my butt out a tiny bit my thighs wont touch at all. I know if I hold my arms straight out in front of me I can tell one of my shoulders is higher than the other. I know that if I am concentrating really hard, I look rather unfriendly and scary in the face.

I spend an average of 23 hours a week in front of mirrors, one third of that spent exactly face-to-face staring at myself. All the while wearing such little clothing that I see every detail of my body but still keep it PG rated.

You’re probably thinking who is this crazy narcissistic girl and is she getting paid to be this vain?! It’s not what you think, I promise.

I’m a Bikram Yoga instructor.

Believe me, I know what non-supporters of this controversial yoga have to say but hear me out. I assure you that I am not a conceited person. I come from years and years of terrible body image and low self esteem and still struggle with these things every now and again.

These mirrors have changed my life; what I do in front of these mirrors has changed my body. I not only see what they reflect, I see inside myself. I stare into my eyes as I struggle and sweat and I stare at the body I was given as it bends, stretches, and twists. I’ve watched my body transform while the eyes I see it through are changing as well. My mind and body have met there in that mirror and agreed to embrace this life.

These mirrors are a big element of the class for a couple reasons.

A student yesterday realized upon arriving for class that she forgot her yoga clothes. She was very uncomfortable in the little shorts we had for sale so we loaned her some simple form fitting capris and tank top. During class it was clear she was having a different experience. Sure enough, afterwards she said, “I can’t believe how much that just changed my practice.”

She learned what the mirrors could truly offer her if she exposed more to be reflected in them. She saw her true body, which not only helped her make necessary adjustments in her postures, it gave her 90 minutes to spend together with herself, until she loved what she saw.

She didn’t even know she could feel this way.

When happy hormones are pumping during a yoga class, it’s a great time to bare it all so that you may welcome what you see. Do not fear the tiny yoga clothes!

There will be times when you won’t like what the mirror reveals but you will come back the next day and look again. Give yourself a little funny face from time to time and lighten up.

This self-exploration causes you to be so in tune with your body that you can accept the ups and downs as they come, without attachment.

As you stare into your own eyes, see your body, and see into your soul, you will want to take care of that sacred being that you see.

The will to do that will change your life.

 

Andy Jacobs is a full time yoga instructor, currently fulfilling her dream of traveling the world, while teaching along the way. So far she has visited over 60 studios worldwide and taught on four continents. Meeting so many healthy and progressive people along the way, she has great resources in developing a balanced and sustainable lifestyle. Learn how she did it on her blog, Andy Pandy Living.

 

 

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Assistant Ed: Kristina Peterson/Ed: Bryonie Wise

 

{photo: Andy Jacobs}

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