The Bikram Yoga series is very different that most forms of yoga. It is the same 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises, in a heated room. But what is truly different than most other yoga practices, in Bikram Yoga, each pose is repeated, twice. The first pose is sustained for usually one minute, the second time, for 30 seconds. Yoga is not about perfecting the final expression of the pose, but more the discovery of the journey of the pose. It may only be simply a thought, if your body doesn’t seem to be able to get even close to balancing on one leg, or sustaining a full back bend. Yoga is a practice, it’s more about trying, then getting.
I often think this to myself when I am struggling with a balancing pose, if I fall out, I tell myself, to get back in, but also find a joy, knowing that I will get another chance to try again. And If I come back tomorrow, I again will have yet another chance. I hear many people say they are embarrassed if they fall, they are not doing it right. Well, how can you balance with never falling?
In life this can be difficult. Trying again after falling. As humans, we make mistakes, we are rejected, but find a way to allow ourselves to face the same challenge and try again. To try, I think is the greatest effort we can ask of ourselves. It means being patient with yourself. Having patience with yourself to realize what you think you want right now, may not be what you need, or perhaps it’s not the right time.
Consider this, Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, a company he co-created. He was young and brilliant, but had no management experience. But he later came back. Imagine if he never went back, imagine a world without the iPhone, iPod, iTunes, MacBook Pro… no I could not imagine.
J. K. Rowling’s novel about a boy named Harry was rejected a dozen times by publishers. Imagine a world without Harry Potter? Imagine if she gave up the first time she was rejected, thinking she must not be a good writer, since they didn’t like her story??
Falling is how you learn, being rejected is how you find your strength. My yoga practice helps reinforce this learning process. And recently, what is helpful when I fall, is laughing at myself. Not to get angry or curse, which I have done so often in the past. But to be patient and kind to myself, to fall with grace, knowing that I have another chance. You will have a whole lifetime of second chances, if only you allow yourself to fall in the first place.