“You never know how far you can go until you fall,” were the aptly timed words of the lovely Laura Joy in tonight’s Intermediate Vinyasa class. Her voice came as the sun did its gentle and relevant setting on the official first day of Autumn, an equinox partnered with Mercury’s retrograde and Libra’s arrival.
And well now I’m all up in the woo.
And I am not the first person, not even the thousandth, to recognize the beautiful metaphor of the fall – the word in its many meanings and even more so in its season. Nor will it ever stop being an interesting process to learn how to embrace the “fall”: the literal tumbling of the body in its efforts to balance as well as the time when foliage chooses to shed and tumble after its birth and blossoming.
Something I love about Laura’s classes is that she truly builds a vinyasa and then employs its practice; we move slowly and deliberately with breath through a sequence and then return to its repetition with greater speed, each breath informing the movement. As we sequenced tonight, I thought about how I do this in my own life, how I practice something deliberately, intentionally. And then I do it again, thinking less about what it is and rather how it feels, allowing and trusting it to be and become.
And I feel like I’m learning to do exactly this – sequence through – with falling. With coming to fall as a season and recognizing that it is a time to reflect and atone and give thanks and put to bed. With feeling in a falling way, allowing fullness, allowing depth and surrender. Falling into. Falling with.
I’ve had physical practices my whole life. At a young age, it was dance, ballet in particular. As a young adult, the gym became my practice alongside dance. And the former certainly brought joy and release, but it also carried mirrors and measurements. And while the gym continues to this day to bring me a certain consistency of practice, it grants me an experience of tuning OUT. While I’ve been doing yoga for almost ten years off and on, it has become VITAL only in the last two years. And I’ve asked myself why?
Tonight I felt myself moving into the why as I sequenced, as I practiced the movements that I don’t do in order to master but rather in order to know deeper. To tune IN in order to TRUST. I don’t get up in the morning in order to never have to get up again. I keep getting up because it is my daily practice. I don’t speak my mind or heart in order to have it off the checklist. I do so because each time I do, I get a little bit better at it, a little closer to the truth, or a little less afraid of it. I do everything I do so that the doing becomes more fluid. I go into down-dog and every time I feel what THIS one is like, regardless of the one before, or the one that may follow.
That way, when I fall, I have a practice for getting up. That way, when it’s fall, I trust that spring will come again. That way, I am never static in the moment but rather fully embraced by the experience of what is at hand. And I have and trust the musculature to move into the next sequence, the next season, the next sentence.