Beginner's Mind


Currently reading...thanks Eve!

Mind is ever a tourist
Wanting to touch and buy new things
Then toss them
into an already
Filled closet.


While in Portland my sister took me to several different yoga studios. When traveling its nice to get a feel for the yoga culture in any given area. Always interesting, and fun. I looove Portland.

My sister has only been practicing yoga for about 6 months on and off. Its been a challenge keeping up when juggling a young child and busy job. However, now that she has left her post, at the moment it may be something that will more easily fit into her schedule. Anyway...I really enjoyed practicing with her. It was refreshing. It took me back to when yoga was all so new to me...being an open slate...just ready for the expectations, no goals, no nothing...just there for the fun, the breath...and sweat. With me having racked up a few years of yoga under my belt never once did my sister feel she needed to be where I was or compared herself. However, I must admit she's a natural...I could see that just from a teacher's perspective. But, more impressive was her openness and attitude toward the practice...even giggling from time to time. Sometimes after several years of the mat the joy diminishes and the checklist gets I look good? this right?...when will I be able to? Yes, the beginner's mind is such a nice place to be... the openness...the spaciousness...the expansion...the experience! Its all so fresh. Being in that space is where I'd like to sit again...a much better feeling than completing 3rd Series...whatever that means...or thinking that I know so much...or feeling as if I must accomplish, complete, or perfect.

I felt elements of the beginners mind after subbing a Hatha class the other day. I had three newbies all lined up in the back...their eyes as big as saucers...their downward facing dogs all over the place...with very little spatial body awareness, it was a sight to behold. I made minor corrections...but part of me likes to just let students flow and breath in the beginning, letting them feel free and uninhibited...not feeling like I have to do a major overhaul on their first several classes. Let me just say, the joy and glow the young ladies had on their faces after class was priceless. They beamed...and truly enjoyed. I love that. They didn't reach some type of Yoga Journal cover girl perfection...but something connected..their light shined from the inside out...the practice resonated. It brought it home for the importance of connecting to the innocence...and staying in the discovery...setting technique and structure aside. Its a breath of much needed fresh air. All three of them were extremely gracious and thanked me after the hour and a half...but, it definitely wasn't me at was the true power of yoga work. I feel lucky and blessed to have the opportunity to see others transform and be more at peace. Its wonderful to witness. Like I have said before...I'm constantly learning from my own students...hopefully at the very least, returning the favor to some extent...what a priceless exchange.

Practice this morning I moved through Primary and part of 2nd Series up to Kapotasana. Out of nowhere we were greeted by a red fox that wondered into my friend's backyard. What a surprise! We have such a nice practice area, thanks to Lina. All of us face a row of big windows that open up to her expansive wooded backyard. Its nice to view the changes that happen back there while practicing. I remember back in March when the trees were bare...and now everything is green, alive, and vibrating.

"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few."

~ Suzuki-Roshi

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