A couple weeks ago a friend invited me to go to a Budokon class. My friend’s distinct words were “You’re strong, and you’ll be great at it because of all the yoga you do”. Of course, I wasn’t sure exactly what I agreed to but it sounded like fun. And as I always preach, “change is good”, right?
I’ll admit my yoga muscles were required. As I fumbled around the class clueless, I was reminded of a) how uncoordinated I really am, and b) what its like for my beginner yoga students when they take a class for the very first time. Not only was I the only first-timer in the room, which made me feel even more clueless, I had no idea what language the instructor was speaking. Budokon has pose names and they’re not Sanskrit (the language used for yoga asana). The moves (aka poses) were a blend of martial arts and yoga. Things started out slowly and I felt strong, but when the pace stepped up I was lost.
Being a beginner required me to be fully present –there was no room for zoning out or thinking about that evening’s dinner. It also required me to be patient with myself and just enjoy the beginner experience. And as with anything, I was reminded that practice is the only way to move out of the beginner stage. The funny thing is presence, patience and practice are concepts I teach as a yoga teacher.
If you’re feeling stale in your yoga practice or teaching, I encourage you to try something new – a new style of yoga, a Budokon class, hula hooping (my latest craze), salsa dancing or anything that requires you to step off your mat and laugh at yourself. These new experiences are excellent reminders of how much fun it is to be a beginner and what’s required: practice, patience, and presence. Peace.