This week, I tried something completely new. The last time I tried a new kind of exercise was eight years ago when I started practising yoga. I walked into a class not knowing what to expect and never looked back since. Eight years on and a yoga teacher, I am now practising yoga every day, both for my personal pleasure and enjoyment and to plan for my lessons. It nurtures me and centres me in a subtle and almost imperceptible way.
Yoga has become second nature to me and with that, I had forgotten what it is like to be a beginner. I believe in always being a student – and I learn new things about yoga and other subjects on a daily basis – but being a beginner is another thing entirely.
This week, I tried a new activity and for the first time in a long time I was a complete beginner, following the teacher’s every move and instruction and trying to make my body move like hers – as much as possible.
It felt strange not to be in my comfort zone anymore, to realise that my body – which I thought I knew well enough – wasn’t always moving as I wanted.
But by the end of the class, I realised that not only had I had a lot of fun and learnt new ways to move, I also had immersed myself completely into this new experience. The hour had gone by at lightning speed and without me giving one second to the list of mundane thoughts that usually crowd my mind: shopping list, homework, reading books, school paperwork, washing and ironing piles… I felt so refreshed, energised and light as if I was walking on a cloud.
Trying something new as that advantage of being that little bit scary, that little bit more challenging that the usual things you do, it brings your mind completely into the present moment, into the flow of things. The flow that – according to researches on the causes of happiness – is that magical thing that we should try and move into as often as possible, these moments when the mind doesn’t think, it just is and so is the body.