Tuesday, May 22, 2012
On falling and failing...
This comes up for me, and for other students, all the time as we plant our hands firmly on the floor and try to convince ourselves to tip forward far enough to find our balance-point in crow, or to kick up into handstand. But it’s scary! If you’re looking down, all you can see is your mat getting closer and closer to your face (one of many reasons to look forward rather than down), and then the breath gets shallow, and the mind (not the body) convinces you to come out of the pose. What is this fear? Is it a fear of falling? Perhaps, but what’s beneath that? Is it a fear of physical injury? But that’s possible in every moment of our lives (really, there’s a good chance I’m damaging my spine just by sitting this way and typing). Is this fear of falling maybe more a fear of not being able to hold ourselves up, of letting ourselves down in a very literal way?
This might not be your experience of the inversion-learning process, but that just means there’s probably something else there for you to take away from it. The bottom line: This practice is here to teach us. Yes, it gives us sweet biceps and defined back muscles and “yoga butt,” but (MUCH more importantly) it gives us the opportunity to observe our minds and the mental patterns we tend toward. It gives us a starting point for growth.