Thursday, April 28, 2011


Look at your own eyes in the mirror.

We hear this every time we take class, but why is it so important? There’s quite a bit going on by following this part of the dialogue, and it all boils down to confronting. Now this is not referring to the common definitions of confronting, which involve adversarial confrontation, or meeting face to face with someone or something, but rather some lessor known definitions of the word “confront.” Here are two that I dug up which are applicable to Bikram yoga.

“To bring together for examination or comparison”

This one is fairly obvious, and you could look at it a number of ways. We are all coming together in the room, or your mind, body and soul are coming together for examination or comparison. Pretty interesting way to look it. As we progress in our practice, we constantly exam or compare how we are doing to previous classes and only be confronting can we truly make meaningful improvements or changes. If you never saw how your postures look in the mirror, you wouldn’t have a very clear idea how to improve them.

“Face without flinching or avoiding.”

I like this definition, because it’s exactly what we’re doing in the room. In life, we all have situations we avoid or draw back from, whether it’s your own body or another person, a job situation, credit card bills, whatever. In the hot room, we confront ourselves without flinching or avoiding, or at least that’s what we are striving to do.

I had various physical problems before I started doing Bikram, long since handled. I was able to address them because I would go in the room everyday and face myself in the mirror. By confronting myself, I was able to handle these problems, and it became very simple. For years I had simply avoided things and didn’t confront, and this made everything very complicated. Only by confronting myself, did things get simple and finally resolve.



  1. I think as beginners, we think we are looking around to compare our postures and learn from others... but I really think that it stems more from being American - and the curse of self-loathing. But you don't realize it until you can look in the mirror and like what you see. :) At least that's how I felt about myself. Confronting myself for 90 minutes are the most honest 90 minutes I have everyday.

    Great post Greg!

  2. Thank you for posting, Greg! It's so true. Life follows you into the room and whatever attitudes we bring to life, we bring to yoga. And sometimes, it's painful to see the kind of crap we put out there. It's all about accepting our humanness, our frailties but also our strength and beauty.