I love crow pose, bakasana.
First, because it takes strength. I love being strong. Second is because I worked hard to learn it. I remember bruises on my triceps from trying over and over, day after day until I got it. Third, it makes me feel like I’m flying.
But for some reason last month I wasn’t flying. I was slipping off my triceps and never feeling like I had enough space. Sure, eventually I would force myself into the pose for an unsteady minute. But I felt old and clumsy, as if I were pushing something too heavy up a big hill Sisyphean style.
Analyzing why, I made sure my hips and legs and arms were warmed up and open. Still, I didn’t fly. I commanded “engage the core, the bandas, look forward, relax your shoulders, lift your hips, lift your heals” internally ordering myself to improve. Until, frustrated, I told the internal chatter to stop. I told myself to relax. Try again. And I floated into the posture. Bakasana became my favorite once again.
When I came back to earth, I reminded myself “that was it”. Relaxing helped me move into what I was trying to force. Releasing helped me achieve it. That’s the secret: relax and release. Often we try so hard, we miss the way to flow, to relax into something. It could be a yoga pose, a relationship, a new project or your life. There is a lot of pushing that needs to happen. There’s a lot of prep you need to do. But after all that relax. Let it flow. That way you won’t miss the moment when you can fly.