However, Anton kept encouraging us to try, and try, and try again. “Do not be afraid to fall,” he would say. “The floor is not that far.” True, very true indeed, since the floor was about half an inch off my face as I kept slipping. “Pull the knees in from your core, hollow out the lower back,” he instructed. I kept attempting to the point of near-frustration. I know I have a lot of Pitta (fire+water element) in me, and this was only aggravating and pushing me farther towards combustion.
And then I stopped. I sat and rolled my shoulders back, relaxed my neck one way, then the other. I breathed slowly and deeply. Then, I tried again. I still did not get the posture, but this time, I was at least much more mindful of my movements. I told myself, this is where I am right now, and this is perfect. Nothing, no one else, outside of my mat matters. I am exactly where I need to be.
Towards the end of class, Anton gave us the analogy of a baby who must first learn to crawl, then stand, then walk, before he or she can run (or do handstands). I am still new to this. I have been practicing for only two years, and I have my whole lifetime to learn, to improve. I do not need to rush to become the next best thing since split mung beans. I just have to trust in my intention to practice to the best of my ability, and enjoy the exploration. Isn’t that what life is, after all? A journey to be explored? Too often we rush ourselves and forget the most basic of all actions, to simply breathe. And to connect with the ground, which, luckily, is never too far.