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
MAY 22, 2009: Some of us cannot afford to travel far away places for spiritual retreat but yoga class provides us the same benefits right here in our backyard. So travel with me to a place where we can refresh from the events of this week. Ok? So what does it mean to find renewal? To better understand this we must first ask ourselves how do we define Health? Do you have health? Do your work colleagues or family members have health? If you know what Health is then what is WELLNESS? Are they the same?
The WHO (World Health Organization of the UN) defines health as “not only the lack of disease, but also the physical, social, spiritual, and mental well-being of the human.” So to me this sense of renewal we realize from yoga is to move us not from disease only but toward radiant well-being. There is a continuum of wellness. And it is on-going and in process. We don’t just get it and stop because we’re done.
This is why renewing our spirits, our sense of hope on the mat is vitally important.
If we eat dinner on clean dishes and then tomorrow try to eat on those dirty dishes it wouldn’t make sense. We would understand that we have to wash them and we’re not done there, if we use them we’ll have to wash them again and again. Same goes with keeping our spirit refreshed. We have to work at it. Each day we find ourselves making withdrawals from our spiritual reserves so each day it is crucial we make deposits and renew our commitments to our improved wellness. So join me on the mat day in and day out for your own Spiritual Renewal so you can feel renewed enough to think more clearly and figure out the right course of actions to take next. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia