A very important life lesson that yoga has helped me come to terms with is that to be successful at anything, you must always be a student. Having recently graduated from school, I was hoping to leave note taking and cramming for tests behind, but alas, the reality is different. But being a life long student is not the same as being an academic student. A lifelong student means that your mind is always open to new possibilities and you pay attention to what is right in front of you. The best part is you don’t have to take notes.

Our yoga teaches us this by bringing us into the same postures time and time again. You have the option to approach them the same way as before, making the same mistakes and sticking with your habits. Or, you can approach it with the open mind of the student, ready to learn from the body, making adjustments as necessary each time. The life long student’s Triangle pose looks completely different right now than it did yesterday, last year, or even from the beginning of class.

Our asanas (postures/poses) are living, breathing, and dynamic things. We must approach them as so, or they become just stretches. When you no longer an observer in your body, and adapting to what your abilities are in the moment, you are missing out on growth in the posture. Day to day, my hamstring flexibility is not the same, and I must respect that if I hope to make it through the practice. At the same time, I may find that a pose that once seemed impossible is suddenly attainable, because I have made the small steps along the way. If a posture is not feeling comfortable or right one day, are you really going to keep at it as you always have, just because it’s a habit? Break out of the box and try something new, maybe you’ll find that you’re able to do the impossible!

Life is the same. I did not have academic studies that prepared me for the work that I do today, both yoga and otherwise. And yet the academics and yoga have prepared me to approach each task with an open mind, looking for the possibilities and solutions, and willing to change my path completely when something isn’t working. I learn new stuff everyday. And I WANT to learn new stuff every day. Its what helps me to grow beyond who I am today and take a step closer to who I will be tomorrow.

So I challenge you today to approach each task with an open mind and learn something new. You can start with Wikipedia… it’s a great source of (useless) knowledge =)