i have this one student who gives me what she calls “bonus animal noises” when she feels like she is losing control of a pose. as in, she thinks she’s about to fall out of a handstand and then monkey-like sounds emit from her mouth. that’s the first sign of impending doom.
then there is the slow-motion moment before the fall, where i can see her balance about to falter and then…
she doesn’t fall.
in fact, she often comes out of these semi-frantic moments with more control than she may have in her typical, no-freak-out attempts.
because losing control brings control.
the way i see it, a lot of people get very complacent (read: lazy) in their practice and they don’t put in their full intention or focus when it’s really needed. let’s use the example of handstands…because you know how i love handstands.
many people attempt handstands with a wink and a nod. meaning, it sort of looks like they are trying on the outside, but on the inside they’re actually scared to death of handstanding and simply wouldn’t know what to do with themselves if they actually nailed it one day.
and then one day…
instead of the usual half-hearted hop that takes them all of nowhere, they accidentally kick up hard enough to get somewhere. and that’s scary.
and that’s where the fun begins. because the whole reason they hate handstands is not the handstands at all. it’s the deathly fear of falling.
so, when they get up, the fear sets in and they will do anything in their power not to fall. they are shocked into immediate action. out come all the stops. the hands press, they look up, open their collarbones…they do all the things that prevent them from falling and they do it with all of their might.
and, as a result, they don’t fall.
odd…but it seems it was the very act of losing control that brought them control in the first place.
moral of the story: don’t be afraid to lose control every once in a while. that’s where the magic begins.