In human experience there isn’t a phobia as widespread as the fear of falling. Think of when you jolt awake just as you hit the floor after a falling through a dream. This fear can manifest itself on our mats in many ways.
Everyone has had the odd stumble on their mat, whether you’re an experienced yogi, or new to the practice. Many yogis are put off attempting the harder poses for fear of falling out, whilst many others are nervous to step onto their mat for the first time, scared about having a lack of balance and looking silly in front of their yogic peers. However, falling out of crow pose, out of headstands, or even out of tree pose, is a daily occurrence (or at least it happens to me daily). Here are a few reasons why we should overcome our fears and embrace the fall.
You’re never that far from the floor
It’s true. It may seem like you’re going to hurt yourself falling out of a pose, but the fact is, you’re never really more than a foot away from the floor. It would take a serious amount of bad luck to do any real damage stumbling from this height. Also, being deep in a yoga class, you’re likely to be very aware and mindfully create a graceful fall… right?
It’s a learning curve
In the same way you don’t instantly get on a bike and ride it straight away, you can’t expect to have a solid headstand first time. You’re going to have to fall off your bike a few times first before you get it right. You try, then you fall, and then you learn. The most important lesson here? Falling does not mean failing.
It’s a metaphor for life
Sometimes you succeed, sometimes you fall. The highs and lows of life is what make us human. What really matters is how you react to the lows, and how you recover. Remember that it is only your ego that feeds your fears, and when you start to let this go, you can roll out of the fall gracefully, without judgement, ready for the next challenge.