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Yoga Private Yoga Santa Monica Brentwood Pacific Palisades Bel Air Venice Catherine Tingey

Published on September 11th, 2013 | by Catherine Tingey

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Why I Love BEGINNERS

Why I Love Teaching Beginners

At my Sunday donation class last week, 2 students asked me questions I didn’t immediately have answers for.

It got me thinking about the language yoga teachers speak, and the challenge of becoming an expert at something, yet still being able to see it with fresh eyes. This is the essential paradox, isn’t it?

DSC01319 (2)BEGINNERS MIND (shoshin) is a concept in Zen Buddhism and Japanese martial arts. It’s an attitude of eager openness and lack of preconceptions when approaching something, even when studying it at an advanced level’ (Wikipedia).

Think about the attitude of a child and the fresh eyes and earnest perspective of the world that a child has.

Think about FIRST TIMES…We can all remember precious first times in life.

If you regularly teach  students completely new to yoga, this is SUCH A GIFT. You have the opportunity to introduce them to this ancient practice, guide them into a growing relationship with their bodies and hold a space for them to let go.

I like to create an atmosphere where students can come talk to me after class, and ask questions they might not feel comfortable raising. I usually learn so much from these interactions.

These conversations are insights into the BEGINNERS MIND, a perspective that I, after practicing for over 20 years, find very hard to access.

My new students ask me questions of alignment, odd aches and pains, and sometimes confusion around ‘yoga speak’. What does that mean? Sometimes the questions are perplexing and I have to go to MY TEACHERS for answers.

All of this keeps the yoga teacher on her toes and is SO beneficial.

The next time you have a new student or private client, take a moment to consider just how MOMENTOUS this opportunity is.

You are gifting your knowledge.

You are gifting your practice.

You are creating space for them to surrender and let go.

And you may be even ignite a passion for yoga that will continue beyond your wildest dreams!

I would love to hear what other yoga teachers think. Write your comment below!

 

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Entrepreneur, yogini, designer, award-winning filmmaker, personal trainer and former marathon runner. She left a career in finance to start her own business and along the way, became a yoga teacher after practicing for 24 years.

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About the Author

Entrepreneur, yogini, designer, award-winning filmmaker, personal trainer and former marathon runner. She left a career in finance to start her own business and along the way, became a yoga teacher after practicing for 24 years.



2 Responses to Why I Love BEGINNERS

  1. I’m not a yoga teacher. I practice. I want to comment on your topic because it is a stance I try to live my life and open to my yoga teacher. If I sit as a beginner, my listening skills improve and that affects my practice. I love your blog, Catherine.

  2. Thank you so much, Susan! I’m glad you find good things here. Yes, Beginner’s Mind has so many applications in daily life. I feel it helps me appreciate my relationships and encourages me to find new things to be grateful for as I try to see new things unfold. Thanks for commenting:)

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