Thinking with mirrors

In a particularly challenging yoga class, especially near the end when you’re exhausted, you’ll notice your body naturally finds ways to cheat to make the experience a little easier.

A moment before going into the posture, you may have told yourself you’d slack a little. Or it may have happened as a protection mechanism.

Either way, the mirrors show you your shortcut. There’s no hiding it. And good instructors will point out your shortcut with a comment about how it’s essential to “get the full benefit of the posture.”

Our minds take similar shortcuts, sometimes to protect us from pain but also to steer us to more comfortable or entertaining thoughts. Unless we’ve practiced creating mental mirrors, we won’t have the ability or the sensitivity to realize how often our thinking falls far short of our capabilities.

Worse yet, each time we fall short we’re reinforcing the mental habit of falling short, thereby rarely getting “the full benefit of the posture.”

If you’re not happy with your habits of thought, great. It likely means you’re on the path to building the mirrors you need.

Posted on