How to master mirroring skills with help from yoga teachers

Mirroring is not something that comes naturally to everyone, especially if you aren’t a dancer.

You’re left into right, and your right into left. The signals are often crossed, and you find yourself tongue-tied. It’s a nightmare. This skill requires strong concentration and mind-body connections, but it also helps your students learn visually how to enter and exit poses safely.

As with all skills, practice is the key. Here are some tried and tested tips that yoga teachers have used to make mirroring easier.

Always start your flow from the same side.

After deep oblique or twists into the transverse core muscles, the Warrior 2 Reverse Warrior, Warrior 2 Side Angle, and Warrior 2 Common Flow are great flows to experience release and expansion.

If the class is right foot forward and left foot back, then I will be left foot ahead and right foot back. “I always demonstrate the first flow to the students. I make sure that I state which foot, leg, and side body/ribs I am presenting. – Cynthia Koch, Yoga Garden San Francisco.

Use a Sharpie.

“For the first few months I taught, I wrote the letter R and a L on my left index finger. This helped me to get used to pointing in a certain direction while also having a reminder as to which side I was indicating.

“As time passed and I became more intuitive, it was no longer useful, but at the start it was.” Gillian Confair The Pad Studios San Francisco

Wear jewelry!

When I teach, I wear three bangles on my left side, which is my actual right, and two on my right side, which is my real left. “I’m right-handed, so it is natural for me to always lead from my right side. I do this by saying left, instead of right.” Saffron fitton, Paradise Tribe Yoga Bali.

Make a plan.

To master mirroring, you must mirror your movements throughout the class. At the start of class, set the intention: “For the next 90 mins my left will be my RIGHT and my right will be MY LEFT.”

“I know it sounds too simple, but I swear by it!” Melinda DiOrio is a yoga teacher and photographer at Melinda DiOrio Photography & yoga.

Use your settings.

“I teach in an open-air studio. “I teach in an open-air studio. So I always know the other side will be on the left.” – Yuliya Popova, Redwoods Yoga San Francisco.

Take a look at your students.

Look at your students. Look at your students’ bodies. Don’t worry about their left arm being your right. Just look and see which arm is reaching forward or which leg needs to be stepped back.

If you demonstrate a pose to your students, they will likely follow you unless you specifically ask them not to. (For example, if you are teaching a difficult pose). Focus on your students and get out of your head. This way, you won’t have to “flip” left into right or vice versa.

Let it go.

Honesty and humor!” It’s okay to be imperfect. I make fun of that. I can sometimes confuse left and right. I was once in a class with Katchie Ananda, who spoke frankly about her “Left-Right-Dyslexia,” which made her even more likable.

Since then, I have handled it the same and will add stories about my most hilarious mix-ups. Sandra von Zabiensky, Satyaloka Yoga Germany.

You can cheat (a bit) with broader cues like “step the back foot forward” or “reach your hands towards the window wall.”

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