How to Embrace a Beginner’s Mind and Get the Most Out of Your Yoga
As we offer yoga programs throughout the year, we are truly blessed to witness thousands of people enrich their lives through the miracle of yoga.
During this time our teachers have shared with us their accumulated wisdom and insight into how yoga is learned, lived and taught to others. What follows are words of advice that we often give yoga students to help them surrender deeper into their True Essence.
So whether you are taking a class, embarking on a yoga retreat or even preparing for the sublime transformation embedded in a yoga teacher training, these simple yet profound lessons will help you immensely.
1) Let go of all expectations
In order to get the most out of the journey into the heart of yoga, you must first release any ideas about how you expect things to be. Expectations build an attachment to ideas of how we think things should be and close us off to the ability of embracing reality as it is.
When you let go and surrender all your preconceived notions, you allow yourself to awaken to the bliss of each moment in its perfection.
Give yourself the gift of a beginner’s mind. Instead of imagining how your journey should unfold, set the intention to simply step back and observe the unfoldment as it happens. Let everything happen naturally instead of trying to force the experience to fit within your own expectations. Undoubtedly, when you are open, the experience you have will be indescribably more beautiful than you could have imagined.
2) Take responsibility for your own practice
You will get out what you put in. Taking on the role of the student requires you to put in a certain amount of self-discipline and effort. If you are blessed to have teachers who are holding a sacred space for your inward journey, embrace every moment of it. Come a few minutes before the start of every session to allow yourself to fully arrive both mentally and emotionally. Be deeply present. You will be receiving teachings of the highest value. Take everything in.
If you are intensifying your practice through a retreat or teacher training, you may wish to enjoy a digital detox by disconnecting from social media or simply limiting time spent on electronic devices.
Focus on your connection to the Self, and to those around you sharing the journey.
3) Enjoy the bliss of silence
In order to know yourself, it is essential to remove distractions from the outside world. It is impossible to realize the amount of energy that is put into communication, both verbal and nonverbal, until we take a break from it. Silence is the most powerful technique during your yoga practice, both on and off the mat.
You may choose to take silent mornings, a full day or two of silence, or to end your YTT with a silent meditation retreat. The greatest wisdom is inside of you; you must be silent in order to listen.
4) Fill yourself with gratitude
Challenge yourself to let go of all complaints and instead fill yourself with gratitude. We have been conditioned to analyze and criticize every aspect of our lives, but you will be doing yourself a great disservice if you allow complaints and judgements to pollute your magical experience of your yoga practice.
This is an opportunity to train your mind to stop placing labels of positive and negative, good and bad on every experience. Remember at all times, you are infinitely blessed to have enough food to eat, a house to live in, an education, financial abundance and to even be on the path of Yoga. Many amongst us don’t even have the basic necessities of life, so never forget to focus on what you do have rather than what you feel to be lacking.
5) Embrace the Sangha (community)
In every yoga class you are surrounded by like-minded individuals with whom you can share this incredible journey. You will share in the love, laughter and tears and form connections leading to deep and lasting friendships. The Sangha (spiritual community) you are surrounded by is invaluable.
6) Listen to your heart
You will be receiving many teachings on the essence of Yoga during your practice. These teachings will likely come to you like divine nectar, and nourish your soul.
Yet, some teachings may not always resonate with your heart. Whatever feels natural to you, take that in and allow it to promote your spiritual growth and guide you on your journey. Whatever doesn’t sit well with you, simply allow it to be and it will fall away effortlessly.
There is no need for you to become confused or disturbed by any teachings, as there are many paths up the mountain of Self-Realization. What is one person’s nectar maybe another’s poison.
Everything that you need to know will be made clear to you when the time is right. If something does not feel right to you simply let it go. Listen to your heart and remain at all times in peace.
If you ever decide to go deeper and experience a yoga retreat or a 200 hr YTT know it is a rare opportunity in your life as you are embarking on the transformational journey of Self-discovery.
During this time, you will begin to understand the essence of Yoga and ultimately yourself. You will have the opportunity to intensify your spiritual journey and experience deep healing and transformation. Know that you will be taken care of and there is nothing for you to worry about.
If your next yoga retreat or YTT is at Blooming Lotus Yoga you can rest assured that you will be entering a place of light and love – surrounded by beautiful souls all on a path heading home.