Shoot for the moon, you may land among the stars.
But in yoga, if you shoot for the moon, you may end up on your butt on the ground.
Recently I was charged with ambition after seeing others in class accomplish the “crow” pose, in which you balance your knees on your elbows in a gloriously impressive show of upper body strength and agility.
Yes, I thought, my moment is now.
I did manage to hover in class for a hot second before collapsing onto my block, and so later at home I thought–why not? Well, I’ll tell you why… without any actual blocks and with just my living room carpet as pad, I fell on my face. Twice. And bruised my knees.
Of course I’ll keep trying and one day hopefully I’ll get it. But it’s discouraging when new and exciting poses are just out of reach (or a lot out of reach.) Then there are the times you go for even a basic pose but your body’s muscles just refuse to cooperate, for whatever reason. They reserve the right to do that with irritating frequency. Or when you come down with a little cold and suddenly your body wants to just sit in recovery mode. Or maybe you even get a diagnosis from the doctor which crushes you in a deeper, maybe more permanent fashion.
Where is your miraculous, beautiful, complex body system then?
The animated series Star Wars Rebels made a rather bold choice in taking down someone’s miraculous, beautiful system. (Stop here if you don’t want spoilers! But it’s a few years old, so I’m going to say it’s fair game…)
Still with me? Ok. Rebels actually blinded Kanan Jarrus, the incredibly cool, bad-ass Jedi who survived Order 66. He’s kept the force flowing and is the crucial seasoned Jedi member of the Rebels team–so when Darth Maul blinds him with a light saber, it’s pretty crushing to him and to us.
It takes awhile, but Kanan eventually learns to be a pretty great Jedi despite his blindness. With the help of a mysterious creature named Bendu, he learns to “see” without his eyes and act more on feeling the force. Now, witnessing his powers and fighting acumen is even more incredible.
Of course, harnessing the force is a little more tough for us on this planet now. Not that I haven’t tried (and I definitely pretend when I go through automatic doors.) But what we can do is harness all kinds of forces within us: coming up with creative solutions to dealing with the hardships we face. And you know hardships will come, and a lot of them. To cope, you might trust more in others, or develop new areas of yourself, or even just find an emotional strength you didn’t know you had. If Kanan can get back in the Jedi saddle, so can we.
You’ve got to be smart about it, but life is more rewarding with a little risk, whether it’s a crazy yoga pose or a duel with Darth Maul. You may fall on your butt, or get it handed to you by the master Sith, and the consequences might even be lasting. Nevertheless, inside your body or within others, you can find your own Bendu (I’d like mine to be voiced by the fourth Doctor, just like Rebels’ was!) and get working on making it work.
And next time you might just show that Dathomirian Zabrak Dark Lord of the Sith who has the force with them (spoiler again: it’s you.)