Lately I've been hooked on some "medicine" in training (keeping in mind that a medicine/method should only be used to find the feeling and should not become an "addiction), that is, using a mirror to check my alignment and structure. I am gradually subtracting the amount of time I spend looking in the mirror, and I can definitely see how easy it is to get addicted to this way of cheating as opposed to actually feeling the alignment without any visual tools.
I have however, found the mirror to be very useful in that I can actually see where my alignment is off which has led to various "a ha!" moments on a purely structural level. For months (maybe even years?) I've had a problem with placing the weight of my body on the outside edges of my left foot which has thrown off my alignment (1234,1234) and led to discomfort in my left kneecap (although this is yet another problem of mine in trying to relax the lower back and belly). Visually seeing that the big toe area of my left foot was actually raising up as the weight moved to the outer left side of my foot reminds me every time in stance to correct this problem. Having actually seen the problem in the mirror, I realize the feeling of misalignment and the pain it causes, helping me to adjust when not using the mirror. The mirror has also helped me see a "twist" in my upper body/torso where my left shoulder wants to hunch forward. These are just a few more areas to work on as I continue practice...and soon I'll be off the mirror completely!
I hope everyone is having a good time training, and if you are participating in the Lenten Challenge, keep it up!