As you can see, we're not afraid of our reflections at Rhinebeck Pilates.
Large mirrors are plentiful at my studio so students can see their form, particularly when learning a difficult exercise. Sometimes, what feels like a round back is actually flat, and the only way to really "get" that, is to look in the mirror and see it for themselves.
Mirrors are controversal, not just in pilates studios but in gyms as well.
A 2005 study at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada found that people "exercising face-to-face with their reflections walk away feeling less energized, less relaxed, and less good about themselves" than people who work out without mirrors around them.
The logic is that if you're looking in the mirror while exercising, you're more likely to notice your imperfections rather than how good you feel phsyically. You're also more likely to notice other, more perfect-seeming people around you, which can distract from your personal goals and cause you to feel bad about yourself. Despite this study, we still have our mirrors at Rhinebeck Pilates, as do most other pilates studios. One of the benefits of pilates is that students gain confidence as they progress and learn how to focus on themselves- their own bodies, their own cores. Use the mirrors to assist you in finding your proper form.
Pilates is a non-competitive sport. Looking at the mirrors to see how other people look doesn't benefit your own body at all- it could actually cause you to mess up the exercise!
Another way mirrors could mess up your exercise is if you're completely or constantly turning your head to the side to check out your form. You might not realize it, but constantly turning to look in the mirror is messing up your form right there because your neck and gaze are out of alignment!
Sometimes you can help but to glance at the mirror and think, Look at my fat rolls! Stop those self-sabatoging thoughts. You got your butt to class, you see that everyone around you is different, no body in the class is perfect. And remind yourself of this-
When you look at your body in the mirror, your flaws are magnified by your own eyes only.
No one is pointing out your imperfections except you. Your teacher and your friends in class love you for just being there and being who you are on the inside. Just something to reflect on.... Read more!