One of the regular yoga doers in my class asked me, “Why do you tell us we are going to fall? Isn’t that setting us up to fall?” She went on to explain that it almost seemed counterproductive and “un-yoga-like” to state that falling will in fact happen. “Why,” she asked, “wouldn’t you say that you may fall. Or, skip the song and dance about falling all together.”
I see exactly where this yogi is coming from! Falling seems negative. Falling seems like something you’d associate with failure. My goal as a class leader is to show you that falling is not failing.
Falling is not the enemy of yoga poses, but rather it is part of the pose itself. It is certain that at one point in all of our asana or physical practices of yoga that we will fall out of a pose early or fall flat on our faces while trying to show our friends and co-workers that we can do a very fancy Crow Pose (true story; it was me).
Not only is it important to accept that falling can be part of the yoga pose itself (meaning we can all learn from a little falling, am I right?), but as a yoga instructor, I’d rather you acknowledge that you will at some point fall and move forward as opposed to spending your time in your Crow Poses or whatever poses thinking, “Don’t fall. Don’t fall. Don’t fall.” By addressing the fact that falling is possible and natural and part of yoga, we can all address the poses and not the falling.