Have you ever wondered why yoga studios do not have wall mirrors?
Traditionally Yoga, unlike many other forms of physical exercise, is not practiced in front of a mirror.
Yoga practice is not only a physical exercise, it is a journey of discovery. The journey of discovery is a journey inward.
By eliminating mirrors from a yoga studio, this immediately brings the students awareness to their own body.
For instance, if you were to practice Tadasana / Mountain Pose facing a mirror, the reflection might show that you tend to lean slightly to the right. The reflection, which might be ten feet away would be an illusion of your own body. You might adjust the pose from the reflection. However without the mirror you step into an opportunity to feel your own body in space and that awareness brings more fruit to the practice.
Without a mirror, your yoga practice will start immediately at your physical layer, known as the annamaya kosha. The awareness is no longer 10 feet away in the reflection, but is now an internal awareness. This is where the magic of yoga begins.
One of the reasons that we practice asana is to bring awareness and focus to our physical realm. We practice for 45 minutes or perhaps an hour. Then, we traditionally finish with a meditation. If I had spent the last 45 minutes looking at a reflection of myself rather than experiencing the poses within my body, continuing my journey inward with meditation would be difficult.
However, by practicing yoga asana with awareness within the physical body, I can continue my inward journey during meditation.
Consider this idea the next time you are able to practice yoga and perhaps start your own inward journey of discovery.