Crow pose (Bakasana) used to be my arch nemesis. Even as someone who does yoga for at least an hour on most days and has been practicing for almost ten years, it seemed impossible. Worse yet, I was able to get into poses like fallen angel, eight-angle pose, headstand, and even SIDE crow, but no regular crow. For a long time I continued doing my other arm balances and regular yoga asanas, carefully skirting around crow whenever it reared its ugly head my way. One day about six months ago, I decided that no matter how many times I was to fall, I would try to get into crow pose every time I was on the mat.
For months I hung out in bakasana with my right big toe attached to the floor, sometimes jumping up just to swing right back down. Finally, after hundreds of attempts, one day I stuck it. My toe hovered over the floor and I found my balance. I was able to hold it for a few seconds, then came down – ecstatic that I had finally achieved balance in the pose, but thoroughly bummed that there were no witnesses. The next day I couldn’t find my balance, but the following day I did, and the day after that…
Besides being excited to finally be able to get into this pose that had eluded my arm balance practice for so long, it taught me an invaluable lesson. There are so many things that seem impossible and out of reach in life, and way too many people give up on their goals prematurely because of lack of persistence. If there is something you want to achieve, keep at it with all of your heart. Get up early to work on it and stay late to perfect it. Don’t allow setbacks to discourage you, and definitely don’t let not getting it on your first try make it be your last attempt.
If you want something bad enough and do something to work closer towards your goal every day, you will get there. No matter what that something is – making your favorite hobby your career, becoming a millionaire, running a marathon, perfecting a hairstyle, or holding a handstand – like drips of water eventually making a hole in a rock, persistence and little improvements every day will eventually get you there.
Make sure to enjoy the journey, because once you get to the destination there is nowhere else to go. Savor the moment and realize that the sweetness of success is still ahead, and maybe a lot closer than you think. Have a sense of humor and laugh at yourself, and take pride in your continued efforts. I think it is very rare that people succeed at something big on their first try – instead, they keep going despite any odds that are stacked against them.
Trust me, for a long time I thought I was going to be the girl who could do all sort of inversions but not crow. I could have given up months ago and lived with that assumption the rest of my life. But I tried, and I proved that it was possible. What are you going to prove to yourself?