Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Don't Fail Miserably, Fail Joyfully!

When I first started practicing yoga, I'd look around to see if anyone in class noticed when I lost my balance in Tree Pose or brought the wrong foot forward in Warrior 1. I was embarrassed when my teacher corrected a mistake or even offered an informative adjustment. Great!, I'd think to myself. Now everyone knows I suck at this! 

But somewhere along the line, I realized that it's the failures that teach me the most and shape who I am as a yogini and as a person. No one comes out of the womb able to do a Funky Pincha Mayurasana. Advanced postures take thousands of failed attempts (millions for some of us) before you get the hang of it. And guess what? My philosophy on my yoga mat is to fall on my face as often as possible, and I laugh when it happens because I know it's just a matter of time before I nail it! Maybe after I've failed to meditate for the 4,559th time, I'll finally be able to quiet my mind. Maybe after I make a fool of myself in front of yoga class for the 1,598th time I'll actually start to look like a real teacher up there. Maybe after I pitch story idea to an editor for the 552nd time, someone will take a chance on me.

One thing's for certain, you never know until you try -- and when you fail you really haven't lost anything at all.

This is the most valuable lesson I've learned from my yoga practice. Failing is not just OK, but it's awesome. And even though it's hard sometimes, when it happens, you should delight in it because it's just a necessary step to get you where you're headed.

BTW, the following video is my favorite yoga failure on Youtube! This woman is committed, and she knows how to laugh at herself. (We've all been there--and that's why it's so funny!)