After doing yoga for so many years, I’ve reached this place where I only seek out a certain type of class. On the schedule it’s usually called vinyasa flow. Or Intermediate / Advanced. Maybe it’s called Open, but because of the instructor I choose, I know it’ll be my style.
Until last night.
Perhaps the 7pm time slot was my hint things would be different. It was the after work crowd — they’re processing a day of stress that the early birds who I usually practice with haven’t yet encountered.
Or maybe it was because of the Groupon special that brought many new faces to the studio. (And maybe even new to yoga itself.)
Regardless of the circumstances, this class ended up being basics.
And when the instructor announced we would be working with the foundation of yoga, the breath, for the bulk of the class, I was a little annoyed.
First thought: I should’ve jogged to the studio, then I could’ve gotten some cardio in for the day.
Second thought: Been there done that. I just want to sweat.
Third thought (in between all that breathing): Hmmm…maybe there’s something to this.
My thoughts didn’t stop completely throughout the class. (I’m really not an evening yogi. Wow, not one person is wearing lululemon in here.) But I was able to quiet my mind long enough to participate, and actually feel my breath.
I had tapped into my beginners mind. I was revisiting a skill (breathing!) I had thought I mastered ages ago. I had joined the moment with a fresh perspective.
And after 1 hour and 15 minutes, I was genuinely alert, yet totally calm.
The good news– I can do this breathing stuff anytime. Sure, it’s simple, but to really let the breath become the focal point…not so easy.
Oh also, the beginner’s mind isn’t limited to yoga. It can come to any situation.
Like hanging out with my kids (they’re always operating from a beginner’s mind).
Or when listening to music. (This song has been out forever, but right after class it was the jam!)
It can even inspire a new do.
How about trying beginner’s mind today?
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Great topic, Elysha!
There is merit to starting from the beginning again. I teach Mah Jongg to ladies who have never even seen a set before. I have played for many years and I have taught many many people to play. Yet each time I begin a new class I learn something new about the game, about myself, about being a more effective teacher the next time, and mostly it keeps my level of enthusiasm in general at a peak.
What do they say…the best way to learn is to teach? (Or something like that.) I love how you point out that it keeps your enthusiasm at a peak…this is so important, and something I never really thought about until now! Thank you, GGW!!