2011-01-24

Just do it (TM)

You know what I think is going to kill us all? Our fear of getting hurt, and our desire to protect everyone from any potential harm, that's what!

Literally, this shit can kill you. Almost killed me!

Of all the dangerous activities I partake in, such as racing and martial arts, it happened in a yoga class.

I shit you not.

I came very close to having my trachea broken, and it all came out of the best of intentions.

Now taking a step back, I am a big believer in the "just go for it" strategy of learning something new. Children don't learn to walk with crutches (at least historically they did not), and just like with children, experiential learning is usually best with me. Could be the case for you too, but I'm definitely not a fan of training wheels on anything.

You want to learn something, you do it. The real thing. As good you can, and if you fall on your face, you get up and try again.

So I was in the yoga class, and trying to do this pose called the Crow, where you place your palms on the floor and crouch and place your knees on your arms just above your elbows and balance in this manner on your two hands.

This is how it looks.

Note that I am not the one in the picture, and that's because I can't do it yet. But I try. And I fail. A lot. And I try again. And I laugh a lot when I land on my butt.

Now last week, the usual yoga instructor who is very encouraging about "just going for it" was not there, and the substitute instructor was all into playing it safe and respecting your limits. So seeing me flop about on the mat and giggling like a fool trying to make the Crow pose work, he came over with a yoga block and the best of intentions--to help.

He suggested that it's a good idea to place the block vertically underneath your forehead and rest your head on that in hopes that this will make you more stable and you will be able to pretend to "balance" on three points.

Fine, I am always open to suggestions, so I decided to try this.

I placed my forehead on the block, got my knees onto my arms, lifted one food (Baby Crow) and then courageously pushed off with the other.

Well, I must be the wrong kind of person for this cautious technique, because I pushed off with too much vigour and enthusiasm, and fell forward (which was not unusual), with the yoga block still vertical and positioned strategically underneath my throat as my head was nearing the floor.

I somehow was able to put my hand in front of my face and catch my fall quickly enough not to break my trachea. But boy was I excited afterward!

Bottom line, next time I try the Crow, there will be no block anywhere near, and probably a lot of falling. Which is fine by me.