BEING A YOGA BEGINNER
February 8, 2011. Living in a new place whether it's a new apartment or new house or new city kind of forces you to be a beginner at everything. You have to learn where the forks go or the dishes and where's the toilet paper let alone how do you get to your favorite yoga studio or find a Pottery Barn. Quite frankly even grocery shopping is a whole new experience because of the volume of options and once inside the plethora of vegetarian choices. I have never felt more beginner in choosing food even after 20 years as a Vegetarian. I normally don't have a lot of options so I am learning all over again. I am the new kid in school everywhere I go these days.
Yogically speaking we aspire to maintain a "beginner's mind" in our poses, remaining curious to every new breath and treating the practice as if we are like a child learning to walk for the first time. The practice of beginners mind translates into our daily life where we can apply a prism of freshness to all we do and feel. As a result nothing in our lives gets stale. I've felt the blessings of this in my love relationships of friends and partner.
stands for all things,
even for those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on the brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing” (By Galway Kinnell)
To be in that place where we are always blossoming as we walk our own spiritual path moved by an inner sense to see things from a new perspective keeps us excited by life. Or as Roger Housden puts it “you may find, as I have, that we too, are buds, you and I, full of life unfolding into flower.” So after more than 7,500 hours of teaching yoga I am still only a "baby" teacher. I am forever a beginner seeing the poses, the breath, the world for the first time. So as folks ask me if moving has been hard I don't think so. My yoga practice has prepared me how to crawl, walk, run and even fall with delight. As I go around my new home and city I am stoked at being new to parks, beaches, beers even if I keep getting lost on the way to Pottery Barn or Lululemon. And most of all I am grateful to be a beginner again at making new friends!
But wherever you are, even if you've "done" downward dog a million times try it today as if for the first time. Make it extraordinary! And then go out and take a different route to get to your yoga studio and while you're at it why not challenge yourself this week to begin a conversation with someone new? May we all constantly allow ourselves to BEGIN AGAIN. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! See you in the flow! Peace out, Silvia
*PS join me on retreat www.alchemytours.com
HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM GUEST BLOGGER MARA CAMPBELL
January 11th, 2010:
Dear Basics Students,
Happy New Year! I want to formally invite you to Wednesday Basics classes at Total Body Yoga with me at 10:45am or 7:30pm!
Personally, my new year started out a bit rocky as a sinus infection and double ear infection came to my body. I tried hard to kick it by myself and as I trudged to the doctor's on Friday, I felt badly that I needed help. But perhaps this was the lesson I needed to learn. We all need help sometimes. The holidays is a time of giving but also receiving and could I gracefully receive the wisdom that my body was telling me, even if I didn't want to listen? I was reminded of this sweet idea at Family Yoga with Mary Saturday night where we "helped" each other lift into side plank. Oh, so much easier and sweet when someone gently lifted my hips! Finally, one last reminder at a therapeutics training yesterday where Noah Maze helped me with a hip pop that I've had my entire life. 5 minutes with him and it completely went away! So I need to remember these reminders when my pride gets in the way saying "I can do this alone! I don't need anyone!" It's our true nature to be connected to one another and to make things easier and sweeter for one another not harder.
So connect with me and other yogis this Wednesday! To help make our poses a little easier and less painful in the upper body, we will be examining the 5 arm positions and correct shoulder alignment in:
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing dog)
Parsvakonasana (Side-angle pose)
Correct alignment in the shoulders and the torso can make our poses so much more light and comfortable. Yoga doesn't have to be painful in wrists, elbows, neck or shoulders (or really anywhere!). There is never the need to "push through the pain." Pain is our body telling us where we are out of alignment and where we need some shifts in the body. So please don't be shy to ask in class when something doesn't feel right. When we learn correct alignment of the upper body, we have more freedom and grace in the poses so that we can shine out to express our own unique spirit!
Hope to see you on the mat this Wednesday!
With gratitude, Mara