I fell in yoga class the other day. Not in a small losing my balance way, but in a full on fall to my side and rolling onto the mat of the woman next to me way. The class was holding a reversed lunge, and just a few seconds into the pose, I lost footing. I remember thinking that I should steady myself and work at locating the elusive mūlabandha when I completely lost balance. I tipped onto my side and rolled onto my back as though I was in a fire drill. I was mortified. I judged myself. I wanted to crawl to the door and run, not walk, to my car. Instead, I laughed a little and muttered a little apology to my fellow yogi before returning to my mat.
Self-judgment can come up so quickly, and this experience was no exception. I kicked myself in a mental way several times before realizing how funny and human this was. Just another moment in time when I could fall and recognize that falling is just a part of life. In fact, I fall all the time in small and not so small ways; mentally, spiritually, and, obviously, physically. Maybe I’m not better for it, but I’m more uniquely me for it. And I love myself anyway. Because yoga to me isn’t about striving for physical perfection, it’s about seeing the imperfection as a part of me and loving it. Loving me. Becoming more whole. Being authentic. As Brené Brown says, “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.”
I’m awkward and shy, silly, irreverent and a wacky mix of girly and tomboy. Sometimes I feel as though my heart is going to burst with love for the world, and at other times, I lose my temper and say or do something I instantly regret. I’m human and I have so much room for growth. And I’m mostly open to learning and growing, which is about all I can offer.
So, to the woman in yoga class who had a complete stranger roll onto your mat, and who ignored that stranger when she attempted a tongue-tied apology after class: thank you. I honor your role as teacher.