You can tell a great deal about a person (and yourself) by how they react to falling out of a balance pose. I have seen clients grow focused and fierce as they struggle to maintain their footing. I have witnessed students simply stop, give up, and stand waiting for the next instruction. I have watched others become angry, brows furrowed at the grave injustice leveled upon them by me and/or their uncooperative bodies. And in my own practice I have experienced all these reactions - as well as number of combinations and variations thereof.
Perhaps the most beautiful part of yoga to me are these little glimpses we receive into our patterns of behavior. Because chances are the way you respond to "failure" on the mat is very similar to the way you deal with setbacks and shortcomings in the rest of your daily life.
We all fall down. Every day. In ways both big and small. We make a mistake during a major presentation. We drop the kids off at school on a chilly day and realize hours later their gloves are still in the backseat. We forget a loved one's birthday. We hurt our spouse's feelings.
We all make mistakes - but they needn't define us. We may not be immediately able to regain the trust of our colleagues or take back harsh words, but these failures present an opportunity for us to learn, grow, and try again.
Instead of staying down next time you fall, can you stand back up? Can you turn a failure into a growth opportunity?
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