I got into my first crow pose in Ninie’s class last Thursday. It was also the same day that I knew how it felt like to get into a full, proper plough pose. Two new poses in one single class, and definitely a big step forward for me considering I had (temporarily) overcome my fear of accidentally breaking my neck in my yoga class, even if it was for a mere 5 minutes.
Now I can imagine some may be thinking .. but urm what’s so hard about swinging your leg backwards like that?
..Because to me, the floor always seems like it’s so far away and my entire top half body’s weight is resting on my neck. And the view from there does not seem all that pretty either.
So when the lovely yogi teacher of mine instructed us to go into a plough, I did what I have always done all these while. Lay on my back, prop my torso up, and hover my legs straight upwards, as far as I had always been comfortable in. And wondering when I will ever get over this fear that nothing really will happen to my neck.
And then she came to me, while I was trying to balance myself in a shoulder stand pose and hoping it will somehow come off looking like half a plough pose, and she pushed my hovering legs down towards the floor. Instinctively, I grabbed on to her wrists and held on to dear life while she kept saying “Don’t worry, I won’t let go”
I thought that phrase could only be best heard if your other half utters that in a spur of the moment in your relationship. But clearly I was wrong.
And my feet eventually touched the floor above my head, and I thought to myself, hey! the floor is not all that far after all. And as I stayed in that pose, trying hard not to lose my balance with my bum up in the air like that, I waited for some crazy bone breaking sound … and you know what? My neck is as fine as it was before it. Woohoo!
You reach a certain milestone in your practice when you attempt a new pose, or overcome an old fear through an asana. And that milestone is made better when there is a trusted teacher to guide you along to it.
I learnt in that evening, a lot of our perceived limitations, the things we claim we can’t do, is a result of some fear that we may have. I learnt that a lot of people fall back too fast and give up before they get into a full Crow pose because they are afraid they will move forward too much and fall flat on their faces. And I learnt that if you look up and straight ahead, instead of looking down (where the floor will look dangerously close to you in that position), place your knees as close to your armpits as possible and lift your feet slowly off the floor, you will eventually get into it. Even if you stay there for 2 seconds, it IS still 2 seconds of Crow pose, and lots to be proud of 🙂