A while back I was in an evening yoga class. We started playing around with jumping into Bakasana, or Crow pose. I though the teacher was crazy and that I was sure to crack my skull, break my neck or both. I set up my "crash pad" as she called it and watched her demonstrate. I was certain that she was about to magically float into this position with impossible grace. The advanced positions that I have seen this woman accomplish are breathtaking.
She set herself up, jumped, and…crashed!! NO WAY! She laughed and said, "that's why you need a crash pad." She then executed it beautifully but went on to say, "If you are afraid to crash, you will never achieve this position. I have seen people try for months, even years and continue to fall short because they are afraid to fall." Wow, ok. I can do this. I tried and crashed. I tried again and crashed more slowly. I tried again and almost crashed, but held the position. I couldn't believe it.Up until that time I had never been able to kick up into a handstand against the wall without help. I had never been able to float straight legs into a tripod head stand or hold a forearm headstand.
The next day I went to the Dailey Method studio early so I could play around with my new trick. I placed my hands on the floor and in three tries kicked right up into a handstand. I move to the center of the room and began doing right and then left leg scissor kicks up into headstand without flipping over. I got into a tripod position and easily brought my legs to my forearms and pushed up into a full headstand. With all of this progress I decided to really push myself and try floating up with straight legs. I pulled my abdominals in, crept my toes in towards my chest as far as I could and wouldn't you know it they began to float up off of the floor. After a couple of tries I was all the way up.
I became headstand crazy. Before, between and after teaching any and all of my Dailey Method classes I was playing with handstands and executing headstands. What had changed?? How did I make such a the leap in literally one day?? I let go of being afraid. I stopped saying I can't, and believed that anything was possible. We all posses so much strength, balance, and grace. We are capable of things limited only by which voice we choose to listen to in our minds. There will always be a voice of fear saying, "You can't!" You can choose not to listen to it. You can choose to embrace the voice saying, "You are strong, you are beautiful, and you can." I promise the more times you choose to follow the voice of strength, the quieter that voice of fear will become. Eventually it will be less than a whisper, and you will be flying and floating into things you never thought possible.
The next time you are faced with something, anything, be it at work, home or the gym, and you hear that voice saying, "You'll never be able to do that. That's impossible!", set up you're crash pad. Set up you're crash pad and tell yourself it is ok to fall. It is only through falling that we succeed. It is the fear of falling that stops us from trying. I can't do a handstand off the wall today. So, I will allow myself to crash over and over again, until the day that I can.
AUTHOR: Anna Fenner