By Cheryl Hansen
My ab muscles were fired up. My fingers were spread. Both feet were off the ground for a good two seconds, maybe three if I’m counting fast. I actually did crow pose. I did it!
And then I undid it. It wasn’t a total face plant, my face never actually hit the ground. I liken it to a frog’s leap gone bad, leaving said frog splayed across her yoga mat with an accompanying splat.
Oddly, though, that fall was almost as satisfying as hitting the pose.
Firstly—it was evidence that the fear around crow pose is unfounded. There is actually enough time to pull some crazy-fast ninja moves and save my face if I should find myself tipping over.
Secondly—I feel like I may have earned a badge of honor. The instructor offered me heartfelt props—presumably for hitting the pose—though I felt like my decidedly ungraceful fall was the bigger driver. She probably wanted to ease any embarrassment, but I couldn’t help but feel as if I’d been admitted to a secret club of yogis who’ve tried—and failed—crow pose.
Thirdly—it taught me that falling isn’t the end of the world. Failing isn’t the end of the world. And man-oh-man, I needed that lesson. October was not my month. I fell a lot if I’m being honest. I was buried in work. I traveled home twice to help my dad. I missed walks. I missed yoga. I was exhausted and sleep deprived. And then: Halloween candy (cue self-defeating horror music)
Fortunately, it’s November now and I have a choice to make. I can lament in my failures last month—a skill I long ago perfected that pretty much promises continued failures. Or I can do what I did last Friday after falling (almost) flat on my face: get up and try again.
I’ll probably fall again. And again. But I think that’s part of the whole deal.