Crow

Image

Crow Pose
Via Pinterest

I successfully held crow pose for five-ish breaths today–the first time I was actually able to stay in the pose until the instructor gave us the next one. Progress, hooray! When I see people doing crow in photos (like the one above), I always think the pose looks so cool, but I hardly feel that graceful when I’m attempting it. 😉 Nevertheless, only a week or two ago I could barely hold it, and today I could, which feels pretty miraculous.

I’m reminded of a quote that appeared in an issue of Yoga Journal:

“Yoga is a powerful vehicle for change.
As you build strength, you start to believe in your own potential.”
ㅡ Tiffany Cruikshank

Yoga teaches us that we can do things that at first seem impossible. 

Of course, yoga also teaches us humility. One day you might be rockin’ the hell out of crow pose, the next day you might fall on your face when you try it. Or you might nail one pose and then struggle in the next one.

The only thing that really matters is that we’re practicing. This idea translates to life in general too: the thing that really matters is just that we’re living. We’re moving forward, we’re doing what we can–which looks wildly different for different people at different times of their lives. We’re failing, and every so often, we’re succeeding–all because of our willingness to fail first.

A note: Just in case anyone is reading this and thinking, “Ugh. She’s so corny and disgustingly optimistic. I could never be like that. I’m just not that kind of person.” I’ve been you many, many times. And because those times discouraged me, I’d like to clarify that I don’t always feel this way. I only reinvigorated my practice about two months ago after a bout with depression (during which I only had an occasional at-home practice), and there have been many days I stepped onto my mat and thought, “This sucks.” There have been moments I became caught up in “can do/can’t do” (for example, “I can’t do side crow at all, therefore I’m terrible at yoga, and I don’t have the right body type, and the world is an asshole”) and wanted to quit. There have been practices when I felt worse afterward than I did before. I often feel angry, sad, embarrassed, anxious, especially with so much going on in my life right now. But somehow, with the help of my yoga practice, I’ve been able to have moments when I feel like I am capable and powerful and worthy.

So, if anyone like me happens to come across this, I’m saying this for both of us: Keep going.

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9 responses to “Crow

  1. Yoga is amazing! Congrats on holding crow! All those balance moves are so hard and it feels really good when you accomplish one! I am new to Yoga and signed up for the 30 classes in 40 day challenge. Tomorrow is my 30 th class and I still have 6 days left. Love the changes that come with yoga. Keep up the good work 🙂

  2. I just posted about this on my facebook! I used to say I had no upper body strength. So I didn’t. But when I stopped getting in my way I was able to start building it! I’m not strong or graceful as I could be but I don’t let that stop me from trying anymore!

    • Yes, exactly! I can relate–upper body strength does not come naturally to me. But it’s so true that once you quiet down your mind chatter a little bit and just go for it, you end up doing more than you thought you could, especially when you keep practicing.

  3. That is super awesome … I think I’m at one breath right now holding crow–lol! But at least we aren’t scared to try it, and we aren’t scared to bust our faces (which I have done many times in my crow attempts). It truly is crazy how our bodies/minds work because I can rock Crane, but crow kicks my arse.
    You go!

  4. Yesterday was my FIRST time holding crow for three breaths and it was such an exhilarating feeling! I love how yoga makes the impossible possible too! 🙂

  5. “Capable. powerful and worthy.” WOW. How advanced – how remarkable – how you! Gosh darn this yoga is good for you. Shows what you can do. i cannot imagine ever doing that crow pose. Well, of course not, I still can’t put weight on my shoulder! But I’m not going to try that later either! Congratulations on doing it for 5 breaths! Love, Grams

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