In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.

—Zen master Shunryu Suzuki

Do you ever feel like your practice has become routine? Are you convinced you have figured out exactly how you like to practice (fast/slow, alignment instructions/no instructions, music/no music)? Are you now taking poses for granted that you couldn’t do a year or two ago? Do you keep obsessing over the same limitations, the same frustrations in your practice (tight hamstrings, poor balance, weak core, anyone)?

Do you ever ask yourself any of the above questions? Should you?

Not necessarily, but in order to obtain the greatest benefit from your practice it is tremendously useful to apply the concept of beginner’s mind from time to time. When something has become routine, we tend to be less conscious in our practice of it, safe in the knowledge that we “know what to do”. And when we think we know “what to do”, we stop learning, stop growing, stop moving along the path.

The focus of this week’s classes is the cultivation of beginner’s mind, a zen concept that refers to nurturing an attitude of openness and earnestness, a lack of preconceptions towards your practice. The idea is to approach your practice with a sense of curiosity and openness to discover new aspects that enrich your experience, broaden your awareness, and which might open up new dimensions in your practice.

To help you rediscover beginner’s mind in your yoga practice, we will be doing some unusual variations and poses as well as very common poses and sequences, to practice accessing beginner’s mind in both the unfamiliar and the utterly familiar.