Find Your "Beginner's Mind"
"The only horrible thing in the world is ennui, Dorian. That is the one sin for which there is no forgiveness." ~ from "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde
There is no such thing as boredom; only people choosing to be bored. When I, somewhat cheekily, exclaim to students in my class that "the yoga's not boring, YOU are", I often don't get the opportunity to explain further. I am not judging anyone. I'm simply telling them that they're better than the boredom cop-out.
Boredom is an easy way out because it relieves us of accountability and responsibility. It enables us to bask in a self-imposed passiveness that is the antithesis of creativity and curiosity.
Your yoga practice is an exploration of mind, body and spirit. Whether you are just beginning or have been practicing for years, each moment presents you with choice:
you can either choose to be an adventurer and fascinate in the unique subtleties of your body as it facilitates and embraces change, or you can fall prey to a feeling you manufacture and bask in the dim light of mediocrity, illuminated by boredom and shadowed by stagnation.
I have no problem admitting that I have yet to figure out the endless complexities of each and every yoga posture, and last time I checked, I owned a yoga studio. But if I felt I knew all there was to know, my adventure would be over, and then so would my yoga practice and all the health benefits that go with it!
It's a simple fact that children are much easier to teach than adults because they already know that they don't know. Adults sometimes embody a conceit that prohibits progress, protects the ego, and ultimately stifles learning. But there is an easy fix.
It's called "beginner's mind". Each and every time you start your practice, pay attention to each detail of form as though you were learning it for the first time. Be exploratory, adventurous and curious. Let's eliminate the word boredom from our vocabulary, our yoga and our lives. Instead, let's stand face-to-face with the fiery essence of adversity and change.
In other words, get interested. The excitement will be tangible.
Paul McQuillan is the Director of The Bikram Yoga Centre.