Chumbawumba and Tubthumping.. who’d a’ thought that while they were ‘pissing the night away’ they were also gracing us with lyrical genius. “I get knocked down, but I get up again” is the PERFECT anthem for this week’s yama: dhrti.
If you are alive on this planet reading this blog, you have experienced adversity. The act of being born is one of the greatest adversities you can live through (suffer in some cases, I know personally it was not sunshine and rainbows to birth a child into the world… well at least not until she actually came out). Adversity is the spice of life. If we didn’t have challenges, life would be the legitimately MOST boring, insufferable journey. We’d be living an M. Night Shyamalan movie called “The NOTHING HAPPENING”. You need adversity to make living worth it.
But when you are going through adversity, it blows. Being challenged, being told no, experiencing failure and full on embarrassing yourself through defeat sucks a whole lot, but life’s greatest lessons are learned here.
I’ve been working on handstands for 4 + years now. I bitch and complain EVERY TIME I try to hold one for longer than 2 seconds. I come down, usually on my ass, huff and puff and vow to no longer strive for the magical elation that is being perfectly stacked and balanced on your hands… but then I get back up and I do it again- WHY? Because I am practicing dhrti. Because to become great at something it takes longer than 4 years… it might take 14, 40 or 400. Masters are people who have failed so many times that the execution of it flawlessly is a flip book. You barely see the flaws along the way as you skim to the end picture of perfection, but they are there. They actually tell the story of the mastery. To master something, to overcome a challenge, you have to be willing to make more mistakes and experience more failure than success. The end result has to be SO valuable to you, that you are willing to sacrifice 10X the amount of humiliation and bruises for the brief moments of glory.
Our yogic path is just like that handstand. More often than not, we will forget to practice ahimsa. More often than not, we will forget to study ourselves, to keep our minds and bodies clean, to practice controlling the breath and withdrawing our senses from the world. The 8 limb path of Ashtanga is both lengthy and treacherous. There are SO many pitfalls to find ourselves, and even more to maintain the true Self, but if we can get there it is worth ever blunder. This week’s Yama is asking you to reconcile and accept the challenges ahead of time, and to actually embrace them. They are going to happen. For us to be at peace and happy, we have to go through anguish and despair. There’s just now way around it. So instead of avoiding, dive in. Be determined on your path. Let nothing come between you and your intention. Come hell or high water that handstand, that happiness, that job, that whatever is worth the epic fails that will meet you. Smile through it, breathe through it, hell- laugh through it. It’s all a part of the journey, and it is all worth it in the end.
Now go forth yogis, and get knocked down, and then get back up again!