Ok, last week I learned how to fall over!
Srs, just stay with me on this ... my beautiful friend Vera (check her out, she's the one with the luscious red dreads ... not only is she stunningly beautiful, she is also an amazeballs yoga teacher and a fabbo buddy ... she's the real deal) showed me how to fall out of Pincha Mayurasana without using my face as a break ... that was a revelation to be sure ... for years I have been falling out of this pose in an ungainly (and probably quite dangerous) way, hitting the mat face first, limbs flailing with a sound not unlike that of a large bowl of jelly slapping the floor. These falls would almost always alert my husband who would come running with a concerned look on his face saying things like 'OMG, are you ok? What happened?' to which I would reply sagely (slightly muffled with a mouthful of mat) 'Oh, don't worry ... I always fall like this ... you can't be afraid of a little fall you know'
Well, what happened? Of course I became afraid to practice Pincha ... I would still do it, but I would often fall and I would often bang my face and then wait a few more weeks for the memory to fade sufficiently before trying again and renewing the fear ... so the circle goes ... round and round ... (I know it sounds like a stupid thing to do but I bet there is something like that you do everyday in a flippin' circle so no judgements here please!)
So now the revelation ...
When you learn to fall without fear, you can never really hurt yourself! What? Wait ... learn to fall? How does that even work? I hear you cry ... read on you rapacious rascal, there's more ...
You see, what was keeping me from falling safely was ... go on have a guess ... hint: I've been rabbiting on about it for weeks now ... YUP, you guessed it ... our old friend FEAR!!
Because I was afraid to allow myself to completely tip over my forearms I would always try desperately to catch myself before I overbalanced resulting in a sort of mid-air twist that would invariably lead to the slapping-face-mat-flailing limbs-worried husband scenario as described above. My fear was that I would:
a) not be able to sustain the backbend that would come from allowing this overbalance and
b) not be able to catch myself
I didn't trust myself and would try to save myself from pain. The only thing was that by not trusting in my own strength and in trying to avoid pain, I created more distrust and experienced more pain! Ahhh ... man, the irony ....
And do you know what? Falling is FUN now!! I like to fall because every time I practice it I feel like I'm getting better and better at falling fearlessly and with grace (OK, it's not entirely graceful, but I'm not getting a black eye anymore ... BONUS!) ... plus, my Pincha is more fluid and easier to get into because I'm not afraid anymore!
So how about taking this shamelessly yogic advice and applying it to other parts of your life? How about trusting that you can catch yourself whatever the situation may be ... you never know, you might find that falling is actually quite fun when you know that you'll always be caught!
YOU GOT THIS!!