I went to 11AM yoga this morning, excited to start the new year with my new favorite instructor. I’d signed up just a few days prior and his name was definitely there, right next to the time and date.
It was just a few minutes before class and there was still no sign of him.
Noooo! Not a sub. I thought.
In she walked, stiff and unassuming. I totally judged her: Awesome, it’s her first day.
She stumbled through her introduction, but what came over loud and clear was, “If you’re new, you’re in the right place.”
Ha! I’d unknowingly signed up for a beginner’s class.
After the ohms, we began with a few rounds of Cat/Cow and then literally … the basics: Downward Dog, Child’s Pose, the whole nine.
For a millisecond I thought about excusing myself quietly out the door, but I knew deep down I was right where I belonged.
We’re all beginners. Always. It’s when we get away from beginner’s mind that we lose touch.
It reminded me of a cocky tree-climbing incident in the third grade. I was so impressed with myself, my skills and confidence all the way up in that tree, I exclaimed, “I’m Indiana Jones!”
The “s” was still between my teeth when I plummeted with a loud thud flat on my back knocking all the hot wind out of my proud little chest.
Thankfully the only thing harmed was my ego.
… Still I didn’t learn.
Each time I’ve been humbled since then, I recall that day in the tree and wonder when this lesson will finally stick.
Today, I focused on each posture as if it were my first time. Turns out I do still have a lot to learn.
The instructor had warmed up by now and was cracking me up. She had jokes; who knew!
She giggled at a guy fighting to get his foot off the ground for a balanced tree pose. She held his shoulders and broke it to him gently: “Sometimes you have to know where you are before you can get to where you want to go.”
Just like Jeff Foxworthy says, “Here’s your sign.”
I got it, loud and clear.
She’d opened and closed class with the same take on the new year. It went something like this: Three purposeful steps hold much greater weight than several meaningless ones. The idea: We don’t have to resolve to doing something huge and grandiose, forcing ourselves into just going through the motions. Baby steps in the right direction is much more beneficial in attaining our goal.
In the end, I loved her. She was exactly who I was supposed to meet on the mat this morning.
Starting anew, beginner’s mind.
I leave you with this: What can you see, hear, taste, do as if it were the first time today? Never lose sight of those feelings. They’re often our greatest teachers.
Kat Hurley is a transformational author, speaker and personal development coach, making over motivation @The Year of Magical Dreaming. For the full 411, visit kathurley.com, yo!
PS … The push, squat, core challenge is underway and there is still time to join. Here is just a peek of the shenanigans;)