‘In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.’
When was the last time you tried something for the first time?
I led the Yoga 101 workshop at Flow HQ over the weekend. Seeing all those fresh yoga faces got me thinking. I remember the first time I tried yoga. It’s one of the clearest memories I have of any experience. I remember the light pouring through the room in the North Bondi studio, I remember the dude next to me breathing deeply and I remember the deities on the wall.
I also remember thinking, “I don’t belong here.”
To give you some background – I come from a small country town in Southern NSW called Batlow and my childhood consisted of BMX riding, waterskiing and getting muddy in the dam.
Yoga, deities & incense were completely foreign.
Just as clearly, however, I remember the first few months of practice; I experienced the shakes from holding postures for what felt like eternity, the embarrassment of falling out of postures, the awkwardness but also the possibilities of getting myself into inconceivable shapes that the people around me were doing as well as the ‘aha’ moments that the pure anticipation of a beginner’s mind experiences.
Let me just point out that when I started yoga I was way off touching my toes and I was among the majority who believed that yoga was for the flexibly elite. And at the time that I got into yoga, it was, for me, purely a physical thing to ‘ease’ my way back into fitness after a year long trip in the UK (anyone who has lived there knows what that looks like.)
Regardless, I bumbled my way through the first few months, listened intently to all of the teachers instructions and passionately read up about this new practice that I was diving into. I will forever be a beginner at Yoga and I believe that we only ever scratch the surface of this awesome way of life in one lifetime.
However, here are a 5 things I learnt in my first few months of practice:
1. Asana (the physical practice of yoga) is a super quick way to tone up and build rock solid core muscles
2. The Pranayama (breath work) increased my focus & productivity at work
3. My sleep improved
4. I started being a nicer person. Haha! I started to bitch less and lighten up. Oh and I also came off anti-depressants in the first month.
5. I made some wicked new friends – buddies who now make up a positive circle of influence