As some of you may already know, yoga has become a big part of my life. This past winter, I held my first headstand. It's a pose I've really grown to love because it helps me shift my energy flow AND my outlook. Can't figure out a problem? Turn upside down and send some blood to your head. Breathe. And the answer always comes.
Last week in my Saturday yoga class (a busy class with about 15 people), I was stretching and playing around a bit before we got started. I planted my forearms to the ground. I raised my legs in the air. And then my legs kept going. SPLAT. I flat backed it right onto my mat. It's the second time I've toppled out of headstand and the first in public. But like a good yogi in training, I pulled back into child pose and asked myself, "Okay what's the lesson?"
I realized that I'd gotten cocky. I didn't take the time to center myself mentally before entering the headstand. I jumped right into the physical aspect of the pose but my brain was still halfway out the door.
As little aches and twinges visited me over the next several days, I kept breathing, and I kept looking for the lessons. And most importantly, I kept returning to my mat, taking my time, easing into poses, and making sure to listen to my body.
Yesterday, I heard this quote in my mind.
It's a great quote. I've reminded myself of it many times when I've doubted myself and I needed a dose of inspiration. But I thought to myself, what if we cut it in half?
What if I fall? Stop there. Flying is great, but falling can be great too.
In my work as a professor, I've noticed that during the first week of classes, at least half of my students express nervousness about starting or returning to college. "I'm so nervous," they'll say. In other words, they're asking, "What if I fall?"
If you learn to look at it in a certain light, falling isn't so bad. The thing is, now that I've fallen, I know how bad it is (not that bad). I know why it happened (I wasn't focused). And I know I'll come out of it stronger in the end (thank you arnica and camel pose).
Whether flying or falling, I think we are given the lesson we need to learn in that moment. I can imagine another younger version of myself giving up on headstand, or even yoga entirely. There's a part of me that would rather quit than crawl in order to save face and I'm working to get over that old habit. For me, on that Saturday morning, falling was the lesson I needed. Or maybe better put, I needed to learn to get back up(side) down after I fall.
This blog is focused on exploring ideas around yoga, career, intuition, purpose, and passion. Please leave a comment. Namaste.