I was in my usual yoga class last week, and something unusual happened. No, not what you think, but the teacher asked us, a group of 20-50-something year olds to ‘just press up into your headstand. While I’m probably more active than many people, I still couldn’t help but laugh to myself.
“Oh yeah. I’m just going to fire that off right now in a tightly packed room of very serious yogis” (full disclaimer: I was never a gymnast. I am unable to do almost anything acro-related. I am, however, very good at telling other people to do terrifying moves). Needless to say I was too scared I would collapse into an unintentional ‘upward lotus’ pose (for those unfamiliar with ridiculous yoga names, imagine trying to touch your nose to your chest, while supported only by your neck), so I didn’t even attempt the feat.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, because of my vantage point in the room I could see everyone (as I hung upside down in a headstand prep), and ONE person confidently did the most beautiful and effortless headstand I ever saw! I then had an ahh ha moment!
At what point did we as “adult’s” become scared to try new things? I know for a fact that if I asked a class of 8 year olds to do the same headstand, they would be hooting and hollering and rolling all over the floor with joy – and I bet at least half of them would fall – ON PURPOSE. There is joy in falling! (Although, to be fair, there is also a remarkable elasticity to youth). If I asked a group of 13 year olds, the request might be met with a slightly different reaction. But with a little extra convincing I know they would all, at least, try it!
The most beautiful and perhaps eloquent thing about dancing to me, is that it is really a metaphor for life. If you fall, you just get up and keep going. If you make a mistake – guess what, you pick yourself up and keep going. If someone or something is in your way, you make a new route around that obstacle! You just KEEP GOING.
So although this is a little late for a new year resolution, I can’t help but think to myself, ‘I need to be inspired by the 8 year olds in my life,’ and try something new – and even if I fall (and possibly take out a row of yogis in the process), dance has taught me that I will just dust myself off, (apologize of course) and keep going.