I did not fall gracefully or ethereally, as if I were in the divine presence. I was attempting a variation of one of the warrior poses, and I toppled off of my yoga matt onto the yoga center's hardwood floor. The warrior next to me gasped, "Are you okay?" and I could only laugh at myself sprawled so indelicately on the floor in front of her.
I have feared falling these last five years, and the fear is not frivolous: I cannot see well and my body lurches to the side from time to time as I walk. I do not want to lurch in front of a moving car or skin my knees and my chin on the pavement in front of me. I do not want to give myself another injury to deal with. I do not want to be reminded of how limited I am.
Monday's fall was the best kind of fall. Though this fall wasn't graceful, it was joyful. Before I fell, I was concentrating on stretching into the pose instead of concentrating, as I so often do, on avoiding a fall. I was so focused on this moment that I did not feel myself start to fall, and I did not try to catch myself. Somehow, my body knew what to do. It knew how to fall. And so I fell gently. I did not tense my body into a gasp or bruise myself trying to stop from falling.
I just fell. Lightly. And I laughed.
My yoga center's focus this month is Svadhyaya. (The translation I've liked best is being "the witness" who learns who we are through observing ourselves and learning from the poets who speak to us.)
I am learning from my body, again, who I am. And I am learning again that my body is wise, that I can release my need to control with my mind. I am learning who I am and that I am okay.