Today we’re talking about bakasana – crow pose. Specifically, how we can crow with confidence – and use the lessons of crow pose to live our best lives.
Crow pose was the first arm balance I ever tried. I remember the first time I attempted it – shit was awkward. I didn’t understand how I was supposed to get my knees up by my armpits, much less lift my feet off the ground and balance on my hands.
This is lunacy! I thought.
But I kept at it. Like many people who fall in love with the yoga practice, failure to execute a pose does not deter us; rather, it makes us pursue it more doggedly.
Day after day, I returned to my mat and I practiced. I tried different approaches, asked different teachers for their tips, and used props in different ways to support me as I built the strength and the confidence.
With each new approach, each new tip, and each new use of the props, my confidence grew. Some days I could feel the progress happening, and others were so frustrating that I had to walk away from it for the day. But I always came back.
Until one day, it clicked. I’ll never forget the first time I caught air in bakasana. It was only for a couple of seconds, but for those couple of seconds it was like I was defying gravity. I felt superhuman. It was freaking awesome.
Talk about a confidence boost! That first taste of air is like drinking bottled up confidence!
What Bakasana Teaches Us
What if we pursued our wildest dreams with the same doggedness that we pursue crow pose? What if, when we failed, we didn’t throw up our hands in resignation? What if we didn’t walk away at the first (or second) sign of resistance?
What if we kept at it? Exploring different approaches, asking others for their insights, and supporting ourselves on our journey?
I talk a lot about practicing on the mat and using what we practice in life so that we can live our best lives and be our best selves. What I learned on my journey to crow pose is a perfect example.
Let’s take this Roaming Yogi venture…
The Lessons of Crow Pose Off the Mat
I started thinking about offering yoga online in some way a number of years ago, but I had no idea where to start.
I had zero tech skills. I had no idea how to go about building a website, couldn’t begin to tell you what kind of equipment I might need to film a yoga class, and editing video or audio was excruciatingly foreign to me.
For someone who is technically a millennial, I was painfully not tech-savvy.
This was my starting point. This was me awkwardly trying to get my knees into my armpits, eating mat, and giving myself bruises.
But if there’s anything that crow pose has taught me, it’s to stick with it. So I did (also my fiance is incredibly supportive and encouraging).
I read countless articles and watched tons of YouTube videos on how to build a website, and implemented everything I could. Some of it worked… a lot of it didn’t.
I sought out communities that were building or had built something similar to what I wanted to build; I signed up for their emails and listened to their podcasts. I researched equipment and editing software. I got a side job to help finance my endeavors and invested in trainings to support my journey.
I’ve had days full of breakthroughs, where I can taste (and see) the progress. On these days my confidence grows enough to support me on the crappy days. The days where I want to throw my computer across the room – on those days I walk away. But crow pose has taught me to always come back.
Practice and All is Coming
If you had told me three years ago that I would have a functioning website that gets thousands of views a month, a YouTube channel that I post to every single week, and now a podcast – I wouldn’t have believed you (by the way, have you checked out the podcast?!).
I’m not where I want to be yet; I wouldn’t call myself a success just yet. But I’m getting there. Slowly building the strength and confidence that I need.
Crow pose has taught me to stick with my endeavors. To be persistent and consistent. Because that’s what it takes to succeed.
Sri. Pattabhi Jois famously said “Do your practice and all is coming”, and in this he was absolutely right.
So whether it’s crow pose or another pose that you’re working toward on your mat, stick with it. And take that doggedness out into your life – don’t leave it on the mat – that’s where it matters most.