Cultivate A Beginner's Mind

No matter how experienced you are in Yoga, come to each and every class with what's known in Yoga as a beginner's mind.

A beginner's mind refers to a particular attitude which typifies that of a newcomer to any activity. Think about any time you've been a beginner at something: you approach the class with enthusiasm, you're open to new information, and your mind is ready to be filled with knowledge. There's no arrogance in a beginner's mind, no sense of "Yeah, yeah, yeah, I already know this", no overconfident feelings of "been there, done that" which people can (sadly) develop when they gain (even a little) experience - an outlook that only prevents them from progressing further and eventually leads to stagnation and apathy.

So how can you cultivate a beginner's mind as a student of Yoga? Well, by listening to your teacher's instructions as though you're hearing them for the first time ever and executing each pose as though you're doing it for the very first time. That way you'll be aware at every moment, and present within each moment.

While this is a simple concept, it's not all that easy to implement. The mind by its very nature goes on tangents and wanders rather easily, and it takes sustained effort and constant work to retain the attitude of a beginner's mind. But it's certainly worth the effort, as it means you'll remain filled with excitement and retain your passion for learning and practising Yoga.

The writer Marcel Proust summed up the notion of the beginner's mind nicely when he said, "The voyage of discovery lies not in finding new landscapes, but in having new eyes." And that's what it's all about - constantly seeing everything you do in Yoga with fresh eyes.

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Quick Mediations For Workaholics
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Adopt a homeless animal instead - they all deserve a second chance

It's estimated that 130,000 dogs and 60,000 cats are killed every year in Australia because there are not enough homes for them all. And the global numbers amount to millions upon millions every single year.

Puppy mills are a major contributor to the terrible problem of overpopulation. Puppy mills are essentially 'dog factories' where dogs are forced to churn out litter after litter, with no thought for the welfare of the dogs and all thought for profit. The dogs live in appallingly dirty, cramped conditions all their lives, and when they no longer serve their purpose they're killed, dumped or sold to vivisection laboratories.

Petshops fit into the picture because puppy mills are generally where petshops get their animals from. Furthermore, having animals in shop windows encourages impulse purchases, and adding an animal to your family should be a conscious, careful decision - NOT one to be made while shoe shopping.

Breeders contribute enormously to the tragic statistics above too. And it doesn't matter whether they're professional breeders or backyard breeders, and whether they breed for profit or not, because while there are homeless animals sitting on death row in shelters, any and all animal breeding is utterly irresponsible.

Now, here's where you come in. You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. You can either buy animals from puppy mills, petshops or breeders and be part of the problem. Or you can adopt from a shelter or rescue organisation and be part of the solution.

If I haven't convinced you, visit your local shelter to see the homeless animals. Let their innocent faces convince you that adopting is the only responsible choice to make.

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