Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I'm just a beginner....

What does being a beginner mean? My Yoga practice and Martial Arts training has taught me that I am going to be a beginner for a pretty long time. There are days when you feel like you know what you're doing and you feel yourself progressing. And there are days where you realize -you know...not so much. Coming into something as a beginner gives you permission to be open minded, not to set limits and to not have to "win" at something. On the other side of this, as an expert you can feel like you already know what to expect. You've set limits for yourself. There are less things for you to question, less things for you to discover.

I can remember a time in my Yoga practice when I hated pigeon pose. My leg would go numb and I would drum my fingers along the edge of my mat until it was over! It was only 8 breathes. I remember how excrutiating the 8 breathes felt because it was so uncomfortable and also bc my mind just couldn't relax. Now pigeon is one of my favorite poses. Somewhere along the lines of my practice I "forgot" that I hated pigeon and I just started doing it anyways. In life we create samskaras -our patterns, impressions, routines...they can even be addictions or compulsions. Sometimes we;re even on auto pilot and we don't realize we're doing these things. Ever not think about where you're going and just automatically go there? Or when you wake up in the morning and just turn the water on to brush your teeth? Sometimes our samskaras keep us from moving forward. Like when we keep dating the same kind of person and it seems bad for us. Being always 10 minutes late, hating pigeon pose.

Having a beginners mind is similar to our Yogic concept of being present. Are you really in the moment or are you thinking about the phone call you made before class? Or the dinner you will be having after class? Sometimes the class can be boring for you or you're just not in it. I've been there. Often times I use that boredom to do a breathing exercise or visualization in order to be in my own moment -If I cannot be present in a class I can at least be present for myself. The best benefit is to be in your own moment. Be with your breath and be with your movements. Sometimes they arent pleasant but if you go with your beginners mind you should expect that in life. Though moments are not always comfortable you will learn something from that moment. There is a process to everything. Things don't happen at the snap of your fingers. You won't be flexible from just one class. Expectations are sometimes what hold us back, or even cause us to feel disappointed.

I've had this scar since I was 5 years old!

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