Friday, April 19, 2013

Lessons from a beginner

There were new people in my yoga class last night. This isn't unusual, except that these were first-timers to yoga - as in, first class, evah. Since this is a mixed levels class, beginners are generally part of any class, but brand new? Not so much.

One of the ladies was me from two years ago - unsure, uncoordinated, inflexible, but determined to do everything 'right.'  I wanted the class to go just so beautifully for her, I wanted her to align her hips, flex forward with ease, and then bend back and open her heart to the heavens and see herself as the radiant soul she most certainly is.

My wish for her? No struggle, no effort, just joy

Of course though, she had a typical first timer's class. Nothing came automatically. She needed many adjustments, lots of explanations, and several attempts to do basic poses.

Thankfully, her first class was under the instruction of a great yogi - one who has marvelously clear instructions and tons of support, all delivered with a spirit of love and humor.

At the end of the class though, the similarities between her first class and mine ended as she commented to me, "I know I didn't do everything perfect, but I felt like I did a whole lot right! I loved it!"

The thud you hear is my heart hitting the ground as I realized that even after two years, I still don't always have that attitude. Too often I end class thinking about how much my hip hurt in a stretch, that I needed to be corrected in a back bend, or how someone else's pose soared, while mine...not so much.

In other words, I focus on what I did wrong, instead of celebrating the journey on my mat that day, respecting where I was at that moment.

It took a beginner to help me see that.
Maybe girlfriend isn't such a beginner after all.

Tomorrow brings another yoga class and another chance to enjoy the movement and feel the love. My goal is to end it with deep belief with her exact statement.

"I know I didn't do everything perfect, but I felt like I did a whole lot right! I loved it!"

Thoughts to take with me today: Who are you right now? You are also a radiant soul. Believe nothing less.