This was the mantra that we opened our sunrise yoga practice with last week…
To me, this quote encourages us to try new things, seek adventure and to LIVE LIFE without fear of failure. Side note: the interesting thing about failure is that nobody wants to fail, but it can present some of life’s most rewarding lessons. These experiments, the good and the not-so-good, will make our lives more rich and colorful. Why else are we on this earth, than to live life to its fullest each and every day?
Experimenting encourages us to step out of our comfort zone, and often times, yoga inspires us to push beyond our comfort zone, to “find comfort in discomfort.” One of my favorite quotes from a yoga instructor is “just try it on and see how it fits.” I love this saying because it implies there’s no harm in trying, and I apply this philosophy to many aspects in my life. Yet when it comes to inversions, I psyche myself out thinking about how scary it might fit.
After Sharyn, our sunrise yoga instructor at Hale, read Emerson’s quote to the class, she asked each of us to share something that we’ve always wanted to do – it could be related to yoga, or something else we’ve dreamed of. I shared two things: 1) In yoga, I’d like to be able to do a forearm stand (because I really want to conquer my fear, I know it’s 100% mental) and 2) if I could play an instrument, and I mean really play an instrument beautifully, it would be the violin. Sharyn thanked us for sharing and we began our sunrise flow.
I should’ve seen it coming. Towards the end of class, Sharyn asked us to move our mats to the wall – insert music theme from the movie Jaws. I knew it, forearm stand was next! She demonstrated the various stages of forearm stand and had us start with dolphin pose to prep. Then Sharyn came to my mat to assist me with getting into forearm stand, I was the one after all, who proclaimed that I wanted to learn this pose! My palms immediately started to sweat with nerves, “ummmm timeout, let me just wipe this sweaty little mess up,” I was foolishly trying to stall. Sharyn smiled and told me to take my time.
Instead of having me kick up, which scares me into thinking I might kick over so I usually give a wussy kick, Sharyn had me lift my right leg as high as I could in dolphin, while my left foot remained firmly planted to the ground – it would be my e-brake! Sharyn placed her hands on the lower shin of my right leg (in the air) and told me to push against her hands. I did just that, and in doing so, it’s as if we had created a lever that gradually lifted my left leg off the ground.
As I felt myself completely inverted in the pose, I experienced a eureka moment, quickly followed by an “oh $#!^, I’m really doing this and I’m upside down” moment, which lead to “ok, I’m ready to come down now!” But for three brief and beautiful breaths, I was in a forearm stand (aka feathered peacock pose). I had pushed beyond my comfort zone and experimented in yoga class. That sweet feeling of accomplishment stayed with me for the rest of my day!
All life is an experiment. What is your life made of?
Peace. Love. Namaste.