The Magic of Beginnings

by Meg Townsend
January 20, 2019
Wholebeing, Yoga

And suddenly you know. It is time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.
~Meister Eckhart

If I had a dollar for every person that says to me, “I can’t do yoga, I’m just not flexible enough,” I’d be able to retire next year. It’s the barrage of photographs of fancy-looking yoga poses that makes people think that’s what it’s all about. Your inner voice of judgment sees those images and quickly supplies all the reasons why YOU can’t do yoga, though your wiser self knows that there could be something about this “yoga thing” that would feel good. You can appreciate that voice is trying to keep you safe perhaps and avoid any embarrassment but it also can keep your world of experience rather small.

This doesn’t just happen with yoga. Can you remember the last time you started something?  Did you wait for perfection in order to begin?

“I’ll do that when I’m ___________ enough.”

This mindset is not serving you and it will be the obstacle that keeps you from living life. Holding on to this is one way to make sure you never begin, or fail, or grow. I give you permission to toss this kind of thinking into the compost bin. And put the lid on it. Now let’s turn around and take a breath.

Let’s say YES to truly caring for yourself. Let’s say YES to a new habit of mind and body. Let’s say YES to being open to the wonder and magic of beginning!

We have a chance, right now, to be on a journey of yoga and self-care together. (I know! It’s scary to say yes, but we’re in this together. A little help from a friend can make a big difference!)

Perhaps you have ten years of yoga experience or perhaps you are a brand new beginner. Something has inspired you to take this step of arriving to practice yoga.  I’ll let you in on a secret. The practice of yoga is also a practice for life. If that doesn’t make sense right now, it’s okay. The possible benefits are beyond what you can even imagine.

The Yoga Sutras, one of the primary and oldest yoga texts, begins with these two words: atha yoganusasanam, which translates to, “now begins the instruction on the practice of yoga”  or “ the time for yoga is now.” It acknowledges the importance of the beginning. And there’s an underlying essence of auspiciousness to those first words…the pure potential of the beginning step, of accepting right where you are and saying yes to what is possible.

I experienced this recently (again!) with a new hobby. I attended a friend’s unique birthday party in early December and discovered that I loved to throw axes (and that I wasn’t half bad!) With enthusiasm, I joined an 8-week league to sharpen my skills (pun intended). Since I felt pretty good about my past performance, I set the intention to become a National Champion in axe throwing this season!

On the first night, I was instantly humbled when everyone around me was throwing consistent bullseyes and perfect matches. I found myself in a place where I had an important decision to make. I could feel frustrated, listen to my inner, not-so-nice judge and give up. Or I could adopt a beginner’s mindset and meet myself right where I was.

I thanked my inner judge for wanting to keep me safe and comfortable and then chose to open myself up to the coaching and feedback from the actual National Champions that I was competing alongside. (Yes….somehow I unknowingly joined the most challenging league!)

Who knows how I will do, but making the decision to meet myself right where I was in this new hobby opened me up to receive the support that was available. More importantly, I’m having a really fantastic time!

So, take a moment for a long deep breath….how can you meet yourself right where you are? How does your body feel in this moment? (Remember fear and excitement have very similar qualities!)

It doesn’t matter if it’s day 1 or day 100 of your yoga self-care practice. Every day you’ll show up differently anyway! Let’s start here. The time for yoga, and the magic of a new beginning is now.

Meg Townsend

Meg Townsend

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