When We Try Something New:
The first time we try something it’s often clumsy, clunky, and more than a little bit daunting.
But there’s something really beautiful about that window of time before we fall into patterns of thought, and develop habits. That is the time we approach things with a natural sense of enquiry, we ask “what if…?”, or sometimes just “what…?!”, rather than judging things as good or bad, favourable or unfavourable. And if we practice Yoga we can spend a large chunk of our later practice trying to recapture those early questions, putting aside our judgements to ask “what do I find here today?”. The beginners mindset is in fact a real blessing, something to be cherished rather than cast aside at the earliest opportunity.
Taking Yoga Off The Mat:
I am frequently reminding myself of this at the present time, as I embark on this huge new thing of setting up my studio, accompanied as it is by both frequent little wins and frustrations. I get the sense that I will look back on this transition as a blessed time, one filled with growth and learning. And when things don’t go to plan I am trying to ask myself “what happens if I choose not to stress over that?”.
Surely one of the best side effects of practicing Yoga is how we begin to interact with ourselves outside of the Yoga class. But that doesn’t mean that such self observation is always easy or pleasant.
If you are thinking of trying Yoga then here at Bodmin Yoga we have not one but two options for you: I am teaching a course spread over five session on Tuesday nights at 6 o’clock, designed to cover the basics and teach you some key poses, whilst being informal and giving you a chance to ask questions. This should help you understand what you’d like your Yoga practice to look like going forwards and be a springboard to general classes, but you could choose to stay in the beginner sessions for as long as you like.
Yoga for Men:
Meanwhile on Thursday evenings at 7:30 Bonnie will be offering her Mens Beginners drop in sessions. Bonnie will take you through basic breath work and Surya Namaska (Sun Salutation) sequences. These practices and routines are staple in most yoga classes, they build strength, flexibility and invite peace of mind. Once you have these under your belt, you can either transfer to your own daily routine at home, or feel confident to walk into other yoga classes.
Scared to try Yoga…?
If you’re keen to give Yoga a go, but a little bit unsure then please know that you’re not alone. Questions beginners often ask include “am I strong enough for Yoga?”, “am I flexible enough?”, “does it matter that I don’t know what the poses are called?”, “what happens if I can’t do it?”.
Yoga Teachers are Still Students:
I understand all of those worries, as I’m sure every Yoga teacher does. But let me reassure you that Yoga is a journey into your own practice and an exploration of your own strengths and abilities. Each of us starts in a different place, and comes to Yoga with our own strengths. We are just here to guide you. As Yoga teachers we may be a little further down the line, but we are still students of this beautiful practice of Yoga.
Creating Space for the What if…?
Even if your first time on a mat is clumsy, clunky and a little bit daunting, please know that we’ve all been there, and that as teachers we are not judging your practice as good or bad, we are just bringing this sense of enquiry into our teaching, asking “what if…?’” What if you widen your hands a little bit? How does it feel if you move your shoulders? How can we make this more comfortable for you? What is your experience of this pose? What does your breath feel like?
As Yoga teachers we can’t tell you what you should feel or experience, we can just try to share our love of the beginners mindset, and create space for your own sense of enquiry.
Praise for Bonnie: “After trying yoga on a number of occasions at different locations, it was a welcome relief to come across Bonnie’s class where the approach was a lot different to what I had experienced before. Bonnie’s calm nature shone through and made the experience so much more enjoyable and left me feeling energised, loose and relaxed. Everything you should feel after yoga.” ~ Jason Gray, British longboard surfing champion, from SkinDogs surfboards.