I was teaching a small class last night and as we began, one of the students asked, "Why do we dim the lights and use candles?" And so began a short exchange of ideas...as we practice yoga, one key goal is to move away from the outside world and focus on our inner self - body, mind, spirit. By removing the stimulation of light, particularly artificial light, it allows the yoga practitioner to concentrate on his own body movements, thoughts, and feelings. The other people in the class bring energy - and I love the feeling of community, but we no longer notice them as we move through the asanas, or poses. We become more observant of how our own body feels and moves, tight or relaxed, strong or challenged.
Allowing my body to move in a twilight setting creates a feeling of peace and confidence. I notice that I can control my body and mind easily as my outward focus is redirected. Sometimes, I close my eyes as I am moving through the sequences. Next time you are in a class, become observant about how your body is responding to the light. You may be surprised!