Today I ate a HUGE slice of humble pie.
I went to a spin class for the first time (well, the first time in like 10 years) and I was pretty confident that I would pick it up quickly.
I was wrong!
I was confused by the numbers on the bikes, how to program my silly little locker, how to get those weird shoes they made us wear to click into the pedals, "1-2 1-2 1-2" kept getting called out - WTF does that mean?! Everyone else seemed to totally have their shit together and I was clueless. I couldn’t figure out the resistance - I was either flying or felt like I was sinking in quicksand, and it was straight up HARD. I consider myself to be pretty fit but I was out of breath and had to take lots of breaks. The whole experience gave me anxiety, I wasn’t enjoying myself and I really wanted to run out of there screaming.
But I stayed.
And I learned a valuable lesson…I learned how it feels to be a beginner. I forgot what it’s like to try something totally new - something way out of my comfort zone. It can be straight up scary and intimidating!
I teach brand new yoga students every week and I encourage them to get out of their comfort zone, to step into their power and to tap into their fearlessness. Today I had the harsh realization that it’s not something I’ve been practicing.
I’m glad I didn't run out of class today because I got an opportunity to step (WAY) out of my comfort zone.
I got an amazing opportunity to rise above the part of me that says “I can’t”.
And now I can truly relate to those brand new students that fearlessly roll out their yoga mat for the first time.
I think the golden nugget I got out of the experience was the vulnerability and courage it takes to be a beginner. I have a renewed sense of compassion for every new student of yoga. It can be scary traveling through uncharted waters but I can promise you it’s so worth it. In those moments where you want to give up or you’re feeling super intimidated, know that the girl next to you with a flawless practice, or the teacher demoing a really challenging pose, used to be a beginner just like you.
In the eyes of the beginner there is so much possibility and so much opportunity for growth - it’s a really exciting place to be. It’s a place I’m honored to be and I’m excited for the ride (pun intended).
There is a concept in Zen Buddhism called “Shoshin" (初心) meaning "beginner's mind". It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would.
I love this concept. We can all tap into the mind of a beginner, the mind of vast opportunity and enthusiasm. A mind that is strong and also humble.
This experience has opened my eyes, shifted my perception and made me incredibly grateful for my experience as a 10 year student of yoga and a newbie spinner. (And just FYI - I bought a 10 class pass. I’m excited to delve in and learn something new!)
One of the best parts about class today was Alexis, the instructor. She was dancing her ass off (home girl has moves!), she had the biggest, most friendly, smile on her face and was having so much fun. She was cheering us on and it was exactly what I needed to keep my head in the game. My hope is to show up for my students in the same way. I’m ready to cheer you on and support you in any way possible.
And I want you to know that if you are new to yoga, or trying anything new for that matter - it's worth celebrating! It takes courage and strength and I acknowledge you.
I’d love to hear from you! What have you done lately to get out of your comfort zone?