“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). With everything going on right now, it feels relevant 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. I know I’ve been having a heard time figure out how I feel because of it. Then every time, I think I know, new information is available that makes me unsure again.
It’s during times like these, when I feel frustrated, stuck, worried or negative, that maintaining a beginner’s mindset can helps me approach my feelings, new situations & my constantly changing day to day with fresh eyes & more openness.
Because honestly, who & what prepared us for THIS?
At my first yoga teacher training, our group created with this list of ingredients that make up a beginner’s mindset:
This exercise was very powerful to me. Instead of having a beginner’s mind, I always wanted to be right. Typically, I wanted to know what I was doing (or at least LOOK like I did) instead of actually learning it or staying curious. If I didn’t know something, I didn’t want anyone to know. When I STRUGGLED to understand or wasn’t able to do something, I’d try to hide that too.
But thankfully, this exercise reminded me that:
IT IS OKAY TO NOT KNOW & it is maybe even better to JUST BE CURIOUS.
Because if I am not curious, or think I know it all, I feel rigid & I’m not able to receive new ideas & possibilities. Then everything feels overwhelming.
During COVID-19, practicing a beginner’s mind translates directly to me being more relaxed when I see someone doing something I don’t understand. This way, I have control over my feelings & reactions.
Sometimes, when I am really being open-minded, I can see a new angle to the situation & gain compassion.
In a similar but refreshing way, stand up paddleboard yoga has brought me back to this 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. Which made me question my balance, and forced 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!
This is why we’ve become so passionate about SUP yoga right now.
This yoga practice 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.
So I am 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.