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At what point do you stop being a "beginner" ?

xela2010-07-05 00:54:56 +0000 #1
I was "teaching" a friend last night how to do some poses and he asked when you stop being a beginner and it made me think!

Is there a set time? Is it based on progress? I'm interested to hear everyone's thoughts.

Namaste
souljourney1082010-07-05 00:58:25 +0000 #2
Hi Xela,

My first thought was that this question comes from ego. Why do we need to label ourselves or things so much? I'd say to your student to just practice and do what you can ...just BE. Be present. In our culture, the conditioning is so strong to 'be something'.

As a yoga teacher, as I see it, we want to encourage people to come out of all this conditioning. This is Yoga.

If there are classes labeled as 'beginner ' or 'intermediate' I guess try them and see from experience how they feel, but as long as the person doesn't identify with being at a level of achievement.

Hope this helps

Hari Om,

Soul
InnerAthlete2010-07-05 01:23:05 +0000 #3
So I'm in an intensive this week and may not be atop my game here. And you might ask "what is he doing on the internet the week of an intensive" and that is a very good question.

There are two issues with student levels (in which it is not so much Ego any more than anything we do is) and those two are; what do teachers teach (appropriately) and what class is best for the student's development (appropriately).

Now some places, benues, studios, this level bit is irrelevant.

And for a begginner or raw beginner to be wondering about whn they'll be intermediate I would certainly deftly deflect. There's no reason to have that conversation.

Further, the answer, or should I say "an" answer is that this would depend on the discipline. Some yoga (asana or otherwise) seem to have a blatant regard for developing a foundation in the student.

For me there are certain basic alignments and actions beginners should be developing. There are certain cautions and conccerns for a beginner. There is a certain level of body awarenss that should be cultivated in the beginner. There is a certain focus (listening) and attention (self reflection) and breathing that should be developed in the beginner. Really, should an intermediate student, generally speaking, have to be told to breathe? Sure. Yes. But not in the constant way a beginer with no breaath awareness would be.

Foundations for the student reduce injury and set the framework for deeper understandings and learning. It is not soely based on how long you've been going to a studio, though that is a factor - assuming you are being taught.
Hubert2010-07-05 01:18:36 +0000 #4
Hey InnerAthlete. I hope you're on the intensive as "work" and not as a patient.

As about being a beginner. It is always nice to be one. A fresh start !

People often overlook the value of this time. If I could, I'd always remain a beginner.

Everythink is pink and promising when you are a beginner.

I'd say, you are not a beginner anymore when you start missing being one.

It was said that competing is not a yogi attitude. Still, there must be a way to measure progress, because ever seeing forward aspiring for more can be tiring. So it is good to stop and turn and see how far we have come.
xela2010-07-05 02:07:02 +0000 #5
Thanks for the reply, guys!
souljourney1082010-07-05 02:28:41 +0000 #6
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hubert



It was said that competing is not a yogi attitude. Still, there must be a way to measure progress, because ever seeing forward aspiring for more can be tiring. So it is good to stop and turn and see how far we have come.

Hi Hubert,

Yes , I agree, always looking forward is tiring and so is looking backward, in my experience. The mind has such a habit of going into the past and going into the future. What about simply be present? Including/especially yoga practice. No labeling, no thinking , just be present in the practice?

Hari Om,

Soul

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