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Best of 2016: How Yoga Works for the Beginner('s mind)

1.13.16 | By: Wendy Cook

It is an amazing experience to watch when new students fall in love with yoga. It is one of my favorite parts of being a yoga teacher. One of the reasons a new student experiences so much growth in their physical practice, lower stress levels, and discover a new vitality for life is that they enter the room with a beginner’s mind.


The new student comes into the room with a connection to the “unknown”.  No yoga past to limit them in the outcome.  A sense that a new possibility is available. And from that place of openness what they are seeking –and so much more- is created.


The new yogi begins to gain strength, flexibility, freedom, and a new power quickly. He or she comes in open minded and the results show that yoga works!  So the belief sticks! There is proof.  And the physical, mental, and soul expanding continues for months.


I remember that honeymoon phase vividly for myself.  It gives me inspiration when I am stuck. It is a reminder that when I get the clutter of self doubt and negative self talk out of my way yoga works.


How does it work specifically?

It’s as simple as clearing the mental space of all that holds you back from being in the small actions that create the BIG results.  AND creating the mental tenacity to clear space over and over again to maintain a focus on thoughts, words, and actions that keep you in the daily actions of creating your life as you desire it.


Yes. Life happens.  There will be events that are not desired. It is at that time that thoughts, words, and actions can become disempowering, “I knew this wouldn’t work”. OR empowering with a shift, a new paradigm by releasing the limiting thoughts and coming back to the beginner’s mind that is full of possibility. A new outcome that is beyond your usual results!


There is Zen saying that,


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


Each of us is an expert on our life as it is.  We have the proof right in front of us! We are living it. Give gratitude for what is working. AND have a new willingness in the areas you desire different results.


Let go of what you know to be true in the places you desire changes, new outcomes. Stop being the expert. The know it all. Come into a beginner’s mind of possibility. Have a willingness to take the new small actions. Be consistent in a new empowering self-dialogue. Discover the outcomes you desire as a reality.


When students exit the honeymoon phase and find themselves in a stuck place, I remind them just as I remind myself to clear the clutter of doubt. Fear. Be in the beginner’s mind. And discover how to move forward in yoga, relationships, careers, LIFE.





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