The ultimate place where we feel and experience yoga is within ourselves. When we do asanas (postures) or other practices, we feel it in our bodies, our minds, and our emotional fields.
A great practice for connecting more deeply with ourselves both psychologically and emotionally is mirror work. Yes, literally gazing into a mirror! This is done alone, with yourself, in front of a large mirror. The purpose isn’t to observe how you look, but rather to see what you feel. Try it.
1. Set aside 5 minutes of dedicated time.
2. Stand or sit in front of a mirror. Ensure you can see your head, shoulders, and upper torso.
3. Gaze into your eyes. Notice what thoughts and feelings arise. Any thought, any feeling. Simply notice. This practice could also be called “Mirror Meditation.”
4. Keeping in mind the adage, “The eyes are the windows of the soul,” simply continue observing anything and everything that enters your field of awareness. Especially negative, critical thoughts.
5. Keep returning your attention to the eyes.
6. Think to yourself, or speak aloud, “This is me! This is the person, of all the people I’ve known, that I’m most familiar with. The one I’m closest to!”
7. Notice any and all negative, critical thoughts, and practice letting them go. Let go.
8. Finish by thinking or speaking aloud, while looking into your eyes, “Perhaps I can learn to really love you. I would like that, even if I can’t do it now.”
Practice “Mirror Yoga” once a week. Or more frequently, there’s no downside.
Jeffrey Starbuck, LCSW, RYT, is a Renaissance Healer who teaches Integral Yoga, meditation, and qigong, while also helping individuals move into deeper levels of yoga within themselves. He is the author of “Snapshots in Eternity: Stitching Together the For Corners of Existence,” a small book of sacred poetry available through Amazon. For more information: http://www.JeffreyStarbuck.com