I’m a life long Beatles fan. My uncle in Ecuador introduced me to the Beatles through his cool collection of LP’s and 45’s. At home both my parents cultivated a love of music and paying attention to the poetry of lyrics.
This lyric is a reminder that active learning is trial and error. Making mistakes doesn’t make us less capable. Life’s efforts also bring failures. On the mat, yoga is a learning laboratory where the goal is the process of trying the pose.
Those who make it look easy have fallen the most
Balance poses are a powerful way of testing your learning. Everyone falls. Like the nursery rhyme goes, “We all fall down.” Our growth happens when we learn from the falling and apply it to our next - even better attempt. The poses give us time to practice making decisions learning and applying feedback while holding ourselves accountable with compassion for the trying.
"The only thing that makes people and organizations great is their willingness to be not great along the way. The desire to fail along the way to reaching a bigger goal is the untold secret of success." – Seth Godin
When a once-challenging new pose becomes easy, we should challenge ourselves to expand our range by trying a more advanced version. Keep in mind that when you go outside your comfort zone, you are likely going to fail from time to time; and that is OK. A sample progressive sequence looks like this:
- Half Spinal Balance
- Full Spinal balance
- Sun Bird (hold your foot with your hand behind you)
- Kneeling Half Moon B Pose
- Standing Half Moon B Pose
This sequence allows us to practice and go through trial and error, stumble and fall close to the ground before we try the standing version.
The yoga poses are not the answers: they are the questions
Our own self-observations of mental and physical habits provide the learning. For instance, do you:
- Hold back, stay in your comfort zone and play it safe all the time?
- Get angry and upset at yourself when you make mistakes or fall out?
- Get ego fueled when you can do it?
- Blame those around you?
- Stand around and watch everyone else try?
- Live with regret for not attempting to stretch toward your greatest intentions?
5 Things We Can Learn from our Mistakes
- Lessen your fear addiction
- Live with fewer regrets
- Find solutions more quickly
- Be less critical and judgmental on yourself
- Learn not to give up at the first sign of discomfort or failure
What if we all had to go around wearing a t-shirt with our 5 biggest mistakes printed on the front? Looking around, we would quickly realize that everyone has made mistakes and some of our mistakes are in common with others’ mistakes.
“Yoga teaches us to be comfortable with discomfort.”
We are all but human and “with every mistake we must surely be learning.” Love yourself, love your day, love your life!