Attachment, Beginnings, Courage, Creating Awareness, Having Faith, Patience

Learning To Fall

Many of my yoga teachers mention vague stories about how some of their most elegant, advanced poses took them years of trying before they mastered them.

For me, my multi-year trial-and-error pose will be handstand. Against a wall, I’m fine. In fact, I’m now bored. But turn around and attempt to balance in the middle of the room, and it becomes a completely different posture. I hold back and I’m more tense because I’m not sure where the tipping point is (literally). I’m scared to fall to either injure myself, or worse, take out an innocent bystander.

Yet what is falling but giving into the unknown? Maybe we’ll tumble and suffer a bruise or a strain but what if we experience those few seconds of feeling freedom and landing safe and stable on our feet?

My fear of falling is in handstand, but to someone else this could be forearm stand, an arm balance, tree, crow or anything.

Pattabhi Jois is famous for saying, “Practice, practice, practice and all is coming.” As the physical aspects of our practice begin to unearth the nooks and crannies of our personalities, learning to fall could be symbolic of other areas of our lives whether it’s pursuing love, trying a new activity, or changing careers. It takes courage to make an attempt, relax into uncertainty, and then have the patience to let the answer unfold.

If we stay with fear it binds us to the what we already know. Fear smothers enthusiasm. It imposes tension, inflexibility, and stress. It’s an overall withdrawal of our best selves.

If we’re ever going to grow the boundaries of our being we have to allow ourselves to detach from the established awareness we already have. In fact to get to our most advanced, elegant selves we should practice falling every day…

6 thoughts on “Learning To Fall”

  1. You’re right, it’s all in the mind… I took a step by step approach, first moving about one metre away from the wall so that worst case I could still bend my legs and reach it, then in the middle of the room with someone I trust standing next to me, ready to hold my legs, and now I’m working on the full thing (can you see the perspiration on my forehead?)
    The only other thing where I have to work with so much fear are drop backs.
    Good luck with everything!

  2. Wonderful post! Stepping out into the unknown can be exhilarating with the right mind set. Writing my book was a process of letting go of the outcome and focusing instead on the journey!

  3. this is so true! our own limitations are that in our minds. What we feed our minds is so important – we feed it fear, that’s what we’ll feel. We feed it love, that’s what we’ll feel. Thank you for reminding us and for sharing widely!

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