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Learning How to Fall

yoga May 09, 2022

This weekend I was in the middle of a rigorous handstand practice when I had one of the worst falls I’ve ever had while on my yoga mat.

 It came out of nowhere, it seemed. One moment I was walking into handstand alignment, chest facing the wall, feet on the wall and walking one hand in at a time until I would be able to bring my hips over my shoulders and find my line. The next moment I was on the ground, my right arm weirdly giving out from underneath me.  

To say I was shaken was an understatement. I had been building confidence in my inversions bit by bit for years now. I teach inversions. And, that fall scared me more than that first time I daringly took my hand off the wall and placed it on the floor in a wall walk way over a decade ago. (If you know, you know - that is a scary step.) 

But, you always learn from a fall - on your yoga mat and in your life.

And, there were 3 things I did immediately that is my suggestion to YOU if you ever have a fall:

1. I paused, removed myself from the space I was in, and took a few minutes to breathe and assess the situation.

(Nothing was broken, but my shoulder felt a little off and, of course, sore.) 

2. I tried to understand what went wrong in order not to repeat the mistake.

(As best I could understand I must have allowed the right elbow to bend and pull out to the side, creating the instability that led to the fall.)

3. Once I knew I was okay, I tried again – immediately. Because I knew if I didn’t I was going to create this huge block of fear that was going to get in the way of me moving forward.

(Listen, I cautiously did this. I wanted to see if the shoulder could still support this work and after a few drills that didn’t put quite as much load on the joint I knew I was okay. And, I was then kicking up to the wall and doing great.)

 So, this is my formula for falls – whether real or metaphorical.

Learn from the falls. That’s why they’re there.

Take it one step at a time. If there was greater injury I would have taken some more space in between these steps.

I could have easily written about something else this week. Something that would make seem more like the “perfect” yogi. But, I’m not, and will never be that girl.

I choose instead to let you see my falls, so we can all learn together.

I hope next time you fling forward in Crow Pose, or take the leap forward to try out an inversion to not be met with immediate success, or take the new job and find out it’s not what you bargained for, that you, too will learn from those falls, so that we all, little-by-little can learn how to fly.

Sending you love & hugs, 

Tori 

P.S. Come join me for class this week and step into something new for your yoga practice. New students click here for more information. I'm looking forward to meeting you on your mat! 

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