In the very first book I had about yoga, author Gita Iyengar advised students to get rid of the mirrors. WHAT??? I want to see what I am doing… how I look… then after a few years I realized why…
To begin with, in the state I am living, Alabama, according to ( Center for Disease Control and Prevention), the state obesity rate is 31.4%. Alabama ranks in the second highest place behind Mississippi. Although Mississippi is a great state, I am more interested in the data of the state I am living in. Let’s look at the statistics with the lowest rate – Colorado, with an obesity rate of 18.5% and the population is not significantly different than Alabama. Alabama has 4,708,708 and the population of Colorado is 5,024,748 as stated by U.S. Census Bureau Population Division (July 2009). What secret do the people in Colorado have to stay in shape? I did some research to solve the mystery.
Due to a fact that I am a long time yoga practitioner and yoga instructor in beautiful , I had begun my digging into this familiar area. The largest yoga directory on the internet, Yoga Finder was very handy. First I calculated how many different cities in Alabama and in Colorado offered yoga services and classes. In Alabama there are 20 cities and in Colorado 69, so Colorado is larger than Alabama, nothing unusual there… then I decided to calculate all of the studios and teachers in both states. The result of this calculation almost threw me of my feet… Colorado has three hundred ten places (310) to practice yoga; however, Alabama only forty four (44) listings including myself. Although the population of the states are almost equal, the fact that Alabama defiantly has much less per person is a reality. I am not analyzing and I am not making any conclusions, therefore draw your own.
Mirrors, mirrors, mirrors… They make us sad, happy, ugly, overweight, old, beautiful… Is it true? Magazines with beautiful girls on the front page… Is it true? I am looking into this mirror, well I am not flexible and not so strong and I will look funny on this yoga mat, well maybe next year I will be in better shape and kids will be at school and maybe I can prepare myself for yoga…
Before you start a fight with calories, remember what you fight…you become. So don’t fight yourself when your deal with weight. You probably will lose or win temporary. Better to approach this problem with inner peace through meditation and yoga. Yoga will teach you how to take responsibility for every cell in your body, how to connect yourself to the divine and to others, how to balance everything in your life. Isn’t it wonderful to be in balance? You will never be overweight…
We are taking responsibility for our kids. We want them to be healthy. Why don’t we take that same responsibility for ourselves, in order to provide a good example for our kids? The more I fight myself, the more it is impossible to overcome food addiction. It brings worry about the future and guilt about the past. And here I am with the last can soda in my hand seeking pleasure to make my stress go away.
I realize why we should get rid of the mirrors in the beginning, because your mind and your body should guide you. It is in human nature to compare yourself to the gorgeous pictures from a magazine or from a book... then your mind immediately rejects…you are not that…and the fight starts over. So “really“ get rid of the mirrors… See your progress with different vision. See your progress with your inner eyes which required you to love yourself and all existence around you. Your best teacher is you. Trust and believe in yourself, it is the key to happiness and balance.
Yoga teaches non-violence toward yourself and others. First Yama or social ethics in yoga is called Ahimsa means non- violence, compassion. “Behave in kindness, friendliness, and thoughtful consideration of all beings and things, as well as yourself” Deva Parnell, Director of Discovery Yoga. All of this impossible yoga postures or weight loss programs… all of it starts with inner peace. You can take control with every breath you take. Take this responsibility for every cell in your body and stop the violence within.
“Action should be based on love not on the ideas, because ideas represent past or future”, Krishnamurti said. Instead of looking at what already exists, be the creator of your own body, take control of your own breath. Everything in this life should be natural…even weight loss.
Namaste… means ” the divine being in me acknowledges and respect the divine being in you”