Monday, March 18, 2013

Day 2 - Beginner's Mind

Today I practiced about the same time as yesterday 10:30-1pm.

I love my daily flow so far. I wake up at 5-6am to surf for a few hours, eat a bunch of fresh fruit, check email and social media and then head over to the yoga deck for my new Ashtanga practice. Yoga is followed by lunch, some writing, some napping then back for a second round of surfing and gentler yoga and bed. It works.

Beginner's Mind. What a scary and awesome place to be.  Experiencing my beginner's mind both on the surf board and on my yoga mat is an amazing contrast.

Surfing was something I always assumed was out of my depth of practice. Something I just wouldn't be strong enough or coordinated enough to do.  It turns out I was wrong.  I am a natural surfer, pretty good at it and I am learning and getting more comfortable every day.

My path to greater skill, comfort and ease in surfing comes from each time on the water staying with my beginner mind wide open and ready to absorb the experiences.  I play with my weight on my board as I wait for the next set of waves. I watch the waves and water patterns understanding how and where the surf breaks.  And everyday I surf, I play and I practice. It comes easily and naturally. I have no expectations. It is brand new and I love every moment of it.

Beginner's Mind on my yoga mat is another story.  I've had a solid yoga practice for about 8 years. My journey into yoga began on a beach in Ghana, shifted to a year at a yoga ashram, grew into teaching and has been my path to self renewal and healing.

Yoga is what I know best in the world. But now I am starting something new - Ashtanga. And shit, it's hard....

There are about 60 poses in the Primary Series- and there is a vinyasa between most of them.  Today I used this .pdf to help me remember the poses and I made it all the way through (kind of) I at least semi-tried almost every pose.

Beginner's mind and beginner's practice: I didn't actually try Supta Kurmasana, Garbha Pindasana, or Kukkutasana because I can't imagine getting my body to do those things.  I also gleefully skipped Setu Bhansasana because the ashtanga version freaks me out.

Writing this post has helped me to see that I'd like to approach my new Ashtanga practice more like I am approaching my new surfing practice. With as much love and joy, with fewer expectations and concerns about right and wrong.

Here is to hoping that tomorrow's practices both on the surf board and on the yoga mat are held within the loving joy of a happy and open beginner's mind. And to actually giving ALL of the poses a loving try with no expectations, with only an open mind and willing body.

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