Last week, my little sister Jamie joined me for her first-ever yoga class. FIRST-EVER!
Despite me being a yoga teacher, Jamie had never been to a class and I couldn’t wait to see what she thought of one of the things I’m most passionate about in the world.
The day we went to that first class, she asked me lots of questions about what to expect before we got to the studio. During class, she listened intently and followed along with the teacher’s cues. She even attended a class where we did a pretty “out of the comfort zone” exercise to end class and embraced that experience.
After class, I nervously asked her what she thought.
She loved it! She loved yoga. (Success!)
The next week, Jamie came with me to two more yoga classes.
After each class, she’d pepper me with questions about what we did in class, a pose or something the teacher said.
“What’s that word the teacher kept saying? Viraba….something?”
“Virabhadrasana,” I replied. “Warrior pose.”
It was so fun to watch Jamie experience this brand new language, both linguistically since many words in a yoga class are said in Sanskrit, but also a new language in her body, too.
One evening after class we came home and played around with some of the poses we had practiced. She’s pretty flexible, so she was able to get into some challenging poses right off the bat.
Her eyes lit up as she began to understand the possibilities her body held for her. I could see her brain churning as she realized the amazing benefits yoga could have on her life, with a consistent practice.
There’s something so beautiful about being a beginner.
Beginners are excited. Beginners are open to anything. Beginners are wide-eyed. Beginners are ready to learn; ready to be shaped and molded.
For a beginner, truly, there’s so much possibility ahead.
Do you remember the last time you felt like a beginner?
For me, I felt like a beginner again when I became a yoga teacher. After I completed teacher training, I felt like a toddler learning how to walk; completely unsure of my next steps.
How would I get a teaching job? Would my students like me? Would I completely freeze when I stepped in front of a room of students? Would I even be a good teacher? What if no one came to class?
Each substitute teaching opportunity I received, I felt jittery with nerves the entire day (thankfully after a few months, that feeling passed). Each class I taught was an opportunity to learn. A chance to try something new and take something away from that experience.
I remember poring over my yoga books while writing new class sequences, subscribing to yoga teacher blogs for inspiration, Googling how to teach certain poses and eagerly browsing Pinterest for the perfect quote to read to end class.
Being a beginner is FUN.
What if we could all bring a beginner’s mindset to everything we do?
What if you brought a beginner’s mindset to your job, even if you’ve worked there for years? To your relationships, even if you’ve known someone forever? To your hobbies, even the ones you’ve done since you were a little kid?
What would life be like if you approached everything like a beginner would- with an open mind and an open heart? What if you let go of the need to be perfect; of the need to know everything; of the need to be the “go-t0” person or expert on a topic?
What if you just let all of that go and instead approached every situation from a place of openness?
You might feel more possibility. More hope. More excitement.
Your life might be more….fulfilling, happy and rewarding.
Give it a try today. Approach something in your life as if you were experiencing it for the very first time. Relish in that feeling. Pay attention. Notice how it makes you feel.
The beauty of being a beginner…it truly is a wonderful thing.
“If your mind is empty, it is ready for anything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.” –Shunryu Suzuki
When was the last time you felt like a beginner? How do you bring a beginner’s mindset into everything that you do? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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