On Tuesday morning in my yoga class, my yoga instructor talked to us about approaching our yoga practice with a beginner’s mind. Essentially this means, leaving ourselves open to possibilities, opportunities and discoveries. To not get caught up in repetition or routine.
I found this to be an excellent reminder of how to approach my yoga practice and so many other aspects of my life. Often our lives become so routine – we repeat patterns over and over until things generally start to feel mundane. Remember your first few weeks at your current job? Everything was so new – the people, your role, the way the company operates, etc – after a while this changes and it is so easy to get sucked into not being as stimulated and challenged as you were in the beginning. Or think of your training rides – you likely have one route you choose for short intervals, another for tempo rides, another for threshold efforts and then your favourite long ride loop – some days it seems so boring to go out and ride those same roads.
If you find these patterns and routines happening – try to remember what brought you to yoga or to your bike or to the new job in the first place. Remember how excited and challenged you were in the early days of your training routine and day-to-day life routine.
This is something I’ve been trying really hard to embrace. On the bike this is still quite easy for me since last season I wasn’t able to ride any of my favourite training routes – this season I’m making up for it the best I can. As for work, well one of the good things about being a technical writer is that I’m challenged everyday – to write documentation that explains complicated concepts to others as well as to learn and understand the software I’m documenting. On the yoga mat, I try to really listen to my instructor and understand how I can “release my shoulder blades” or “tighten my triceps” or “use my core”.
I suppose the beginner’s mind really comes down to not losing sight of why you’re doing what you’re doing. Remember why you chose to do it in the first place.