Overcoming the Fear of Falling by Falling!

Many times, there are certain poses that we aspire to do. Sometimes the fear of falling holds us back from ever attempting them and other times, we rush into doing that certain pose without being mindful. But most of the time, we all know that that is reckless practice and if anything goes wrong, we’re committing ahimsa to ourselves. I’ve had my fair share of such experiences throughout my physical practices, such as flipping backward and falling flat on my back while attempting a headstand, or falling onto my shoulders while lifting myself into tripod. Thankfully, my body could handle the impact of these falls without any injuries. However, there were a few instances where I sustained minor injuries, such as cutting my lip as I fell onto my face while attempting one-legged crow, or knocking my head against a wall while getting up from wheel unsupported, resulting in a “baluku”. 

The bad news about falling is that it can have serious consequences. If we don’t know our bodies well enough to know if it can land a fall safely, or if there is no one to support us in challenging poses, then we are committing ahimsa to our bodies by injuring ourselves. 

However, the good news is that falling helps to overcome the fear of attempting challenging poses, and it gave me greater awareness about the limits of my body and balancing points when attempting the poses again. Falling is actually quite a liberating feeling because it’s like overcoming a mental block from “I can never do that!” to “I’ve tried that before (and survived it)!”. I think falling from a pose cannot be avoided in yoga, but falling just once is good enough to erase the fear of attempting challenging poses again and again. And you know that if you keep at it, yoga will eventually reward you. But first, fall safely!!