We had moved from our old yoga room into the new one; a space that had been used for Pilates, and was therefore outfitted with mirrors on each wall. The night before the mirrors were to come down (to encourage pratyahara: our going within to find the guide of our practice, rather than depending on visual reflection), I taught a vinyasa class, and then helped my students to settle into Savasana.
This is often a meaningful time—my beloved students opening to the fruits of their practices, laying vulnerable and soft after an hour of mindfulness and tapas: determination, zeal and effort. A certain protectiveness falls over me when I’m guiding Savasana; my role is to hold this sacred, rare jewel of a space for my students. I adjust bodies, give energetic treatments, and most importantly, wait until a certain descent has become available to the group before guiding us back out.
This evening is no different: I sit on my bolster, eyes closed, holding this quiet space. A moment passes. I open my eyes. I am amazed at what I see in the candlelight: my own self, and another, and another, and another, encircling the room. Sitting right there in lotus, maternal and upright. It takes me a second or two to figure out what is happening. It’s the mirrors. If one sits just so in the room, they see their own reflection in each corner. It was haunting…in a positive, magical sense.
It is an image I keep with me now, long after the mirrors have come down. Not only a reminder of my role as a teacher of Yoga, but also a striking image of my selves and the selves of us all—the koshas or sheaths. The physical, energetic, emotional, mental, and “wisdom” bodies–and many more. Usually invisible, always present. Always serving our highest good, always watching. Perhaps the image can be helpful and haunting for you, too: see your own selves there, encircling your many moments… Magic…mundane… You are not alone.
Namasté as always, to you and all your many sheaths. May we feel them all more often, and honor their wisdom.