We are all beginners at something (if Arian, like myself – possibly most things over and over and over again!)
Beginning something can confront many aspects of our most vulnerable nature and bring up lots of questions:
- Can I see it through?
- Will I have to confront some of my fears – physical, mental or otherwise?
- How will I be seen and perceived by others (yourself as the harshest judge)?
- Will I allow myself to grow confidently (and bare comfortably who I AM)?
- Blah, blah, blah etc.
As difficult as it is to acknowledge (let alone act on) any of this or even remotely contemplate embracing the concept of what “Begin With You” might potentially have to offer up (because you might have forgotten that you already have been here before but in a different scenario – same bloody lesson). It is this implication that is ultimately what will hold you back from beginning (or proceeding) in the first place. Fear!
I’ve been so long doing yoga now that I sometimes forget what it felt like in my own body and mind to begin moving; let alone think about co-ordinating uncomfortable long holds in a posture with my breath. In actuality, I initially struggled with each individually, let alone putting the two together to find a place that actually supported me.
The poses that challenged me (nearly all) made me forget to remember that I even knew how to breathe as a natural birthright and response from utero (possibly why I was such an anxious child – teen). I was so fixated on just holding on through my pain body (somewhat conditioned through the way I had treated it over many years of abuse) that I missed the simplest technique of support – BREATH!
Fast forward to me now teaching yoga to that curious Beginner (a surreal mirror of me both 30 years ago and – oddly but differently – now) wanting to grow and find some tranquility and connection with themselves and explore a life of deeper meaning and purpose.
Second time around teaching this very same course, I feel as though I have more to impart because I am now settled back into the seat of “My Beginner’s Mind!”. I remember I have been here (and there) and the hurdles I needed to jump in order for Yoga to become a daily (or every other day) part of me. I now remember the tools I have and toolbox I have built to authentically teach from a more natural and more meaningful place.
My students in this very moment are a truer reflection of myself in the here and now and I feel connected to them as they might be to me. They are asking questions from me and of themselves that I was asking myself when I was practising in the comfort of my own backyard, loungeroom, front yard with the guidance of a book only.
I feel as though my own practice and teaching concepts have blossomed from this (re)connection and allowed me to teach with my very own unique, curious and sometimes silly personality, with way less judgement, way more light-heartedness and all around joy – thanks to my students.
I am now in a place where I would have wanted to learn from myself in my own humble yoga beginnings.
Persistence was the key for me.