Between grade school, college, grad school and teaching high school, I’ve had my fair share of “back to school” seasons. All this back to school experience has me programmed to learn during this time of year. It’s all I can do to not go buy a notebook and some highlighters! While I’m grateful to not be heading back to school this week, I do miss the openness to learning it all brings.
I have two daughters; one is 7 months old and the other 2 ½. They are both constantly learning and changing and they look at the world around them with complete awe and amazement. My youngest is thinking about crawling and my oldest doesn’t stop talking. I aspire to be as open and willing to learn as the two of them.
Few things in my life remind me I have SO much to learn more than my yoga practice. Whether it’s a flow I’ve never done before or an alignment cue that wakes up a previously disengaged muscle, I am constantly acquiring knowledge on my mat. That is, when I’m open to it. If I don’t have an attitude of learning, I won’t learn a thing. This is where my daughters are experts and I am the beginner. I can get so caught up in my day-to-day life that I miss the chance to explore and soak in all that there is to know around me. I can get on the mat and be completely closed off to a new expression of a pose or a new teacher. Whether it’s my ego or the cluttered nature of my life, I am constantly missing out on learning new things.
So how do I move beyond this? How do I take a page out of my daughters’ book? These are some of my challenges:
1. Become a student. As often as possible, I need to be a student again. In classes, at workshops, in seminars.
2. Everyone is a teacher. I need to realize that every single person around me can teach me something. They have different life experiences, different strengths and weakness and they most certainly have something to offer.
3. Practice, practice, practice. Learning is a skill that can be sharpened. The more I practice learning, the better I become at it. Does that make sense? For example, learning how to garden can actually make me a better yogini. I’m cultivating an attitude of learning elsewhere but that attitude remains with me no matter what I do.
4. Go back to the basics. Nothing is “below” me. A beginner yoga class or a remedial tutorial on something I love can ALWAYS benefit me.
5. Teach others. The highest stage of learning is being able to teach another. Do something you love? Share it with someone else! Teach them what you know and you will most certainly hone your own skills.
Let’s go back to school together. On the mat. There are three opportunities coming up for you sharpen your learning skills. You’ll have the chance to go back to the basics of the kind of yoga we practice at 3 Bridges. You’ll get to ask questions and dig deeper into alignment and even some philosophy. Become a student again with us! Better yet, bring a friend and spread your attitude of learning with them.
Hope to see you on your mat! Can’t wait to learn from you. Namaste.