Lean Into Learning

Every time we reach beyond what is familiar, there is that necessary acclimation to what is new. It is the doorway to all learning. We needn’t be afraid of it or give it too much power. We simply need to keep leaning into what we are learning. Mark Nepo

This reminds me of my yoga practice. In yoga, we take a familiar pose and add something new to it: downward facing dog pose becomes a three-legged dog which can some day turn into a flip or wheel pose. Tree pose can become standing pigeon which might turn into a flying pigeon. Dolphin pose can turn into a head stand and then scorpion pose. At some point in our practice, we feel anxiety or caution as we move toward the next level of the pose. In scorpion pose, the yoginis must take a leap of faith as they balance on their upper arms and project their feet up over their heads, toward the safety of the wall. Week after week, we practice this pose, or head stand, or forearm balance, or monkey pose, or whichever pose we are working on. And when we finally feel successful, like we have learned it all, we realize there is much more to learn while IN the pose. And so we continue to learn. And when we think we know everything there is to know in the pose, we realize there is another pose waiting for us.

In yoga, as in life, we keep leaning into what we are learning, through the fear of the unknown, we know there will soon be familiarity.

That is the JOY of yoga and life: we continue to learn.

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