“In a beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” ~Shunryu Suzuki
Ah, Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga. As you can tell, we’re a bit obsessed with it at Our Yoga right now. I (Becca) had an eye-opening afternoon on the board recently that reminded me of my first yoga teacher training (YTT) and I thought it was revelant to share as the world in flux.
Right now, we are in a never-ending transition, between being on lock down & opening up, between things feeling totally foreign, to a new normal, to wtf is going on. It is fair & probably widespread to not know how you feel, and to feel like every time you do figure it out, then we learn something that makes us unsure.
It’s during times like these, when we feel frustrated, stuck, worried or negative, that maintaining a beginner’s mindset can help you approach your feelings, new situations & your constantly changing day to day with fresh eyes & more openness.
Because honestly, who and what prepared us for THIS?
And when we accept things, that’s when they tend to shift for us.
At my first yoga teacher training, our group came up with this list of ingredients that make up a beginner’s mindset:
This exercise was very powerful to me. It help me see that instead of a beginner’s mind, I always wanted to be right. I wanted to know what I was doing (or at least LOOK like I did) instead of actually learning it or staying curious. I never wanted anyone to know if I didn’t know something. I would try to hide it if I STRUGGLED to understand or wasn’t able to do something. But this exercise reminded me that:
IT IS OKAY TO NOT KNOW & it is maybe even better to JUST BE CURIOUS.
Because when I am not curious, or think I know it all, I feel rigid & I’m not able to receive new ideas & possibilities. Everything feels overwhelming.
During COVID-19, practicing a beginner’s mind translates directly to me being more open when I see someone doing something I don’t understand, & I have more control over my feelings & reactions. Sometimes, if I am really being open, I can even see a new angle to the situation & gain compassion.
Stand up paddleboard yoga has brought me back to this mindset in a new & refreshing way. It’s helped encourage me to maintan a beginner’s mindset by taking everything I thought I knew about my yoga practice & challenging it.
The first time I did it, it even brought me to my knees, literally, making me question my balance, forcing me to mentally, physically & emotionally rise to the moment (in a safe, fun way). Now I know that being on your knees on a paddleboard is actually a great way to approach it!
Which is why we’ve become so passionate about SUP yoga right now.
It allows us all to explore new options, be more curious, stay open-minded, & let go of any expectations. SUP YOGA IS EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED TO FEEL SANE RIGHT NOW.
We’re curious, what does a beginner’s mindset mean to you? Where could you get a little more creative or let your guard down more in terms of the scariness of not knowing right now?
Join us on the water to let us know & to help encourage your beginner’s mind.