A Beginner's Mind

“If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything, it is open to everything. In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few. ” 
 Shunryu Suzuki

I recently started running. It's really hard. One would think that because I do yoga I could just get up and run a couple of miles, right? No way. I am using this iPhone training app that talks you through a run-walk routine 3 times a week. The idea being that you can eventually build up to longer runs. We will see.

During this first week of running,  I've been thinking a lot about when I was just starting yoga and how hard and daunting it seemed. I was thinking how it's not the yoga that has changed or even that I've progressed really in my practice. A lot of it has to do with how well I know my body and how it responds to certain poses. I know, for example, that my left hip is tighter than my right. So in pigeon pose, I sink into my left more. I know that I have 'weird' knees that sometimes hurt when I shift weight onto them suddenly, so I take it more slowly when I am asked to do that in class. I know all of these things through continuous and consistent practice.

With running, I am now a beginner again and I'm trying to understand how my body responds to running - what pace is right for me, how to move my feet and legs and what do with my arms. How to 'stride' and move comfortably through the streets and sidewalks. It all seems so foreign and difficult. I feel like everyone that I run by is looking at me while I am red-faced and gasping for breath - sound familiar?

I think it's important to always remember what it was like to be a beginner no what level you think you are at in everything that you do in life. I think that continuing to have this 'Beginner's Mind' opens up so many possibilities to what you can do and where you can go.

If you think you've already gotten there, what is there to strive to do?