I’ll be the first to admit – not all yoga poses are created alike. Some of us are less flexible than others, and some of us have amazing balance. What’s wonderful about yoga is that it’s for every BODY. You go at your own pace and find the flow that works for you.
As a yoga student, the first time I encountered the Crow, I thought, “That looks fun – can’t be too hard…” Well. Let me tell you… it is very hard. At least it is for me. It requires upper body strength, of which I am sadly lacking. Even lowering down to Chaturanga from plank pose (basically like a push up) takes every bit of strength I can muster. Balance asanas, like tree and dancer – I’m all over that. Warriors I, II, and III – I’ve got them down (because they really don’t require too much arm strength, people!)
So, I was understandably nervous when I went to a kids’ yoga teacher training, and we had to learn how to teach the Crow (there’s even a song for it). Beyond the physicality of the crow, I learned that this is a very important pose for kids, because it builds self-esteem. So many kids start off saying, “I can’t do this” and “I’ll NEVER be able to do this,” and then they practice it and… do it! Then they feel great about themselves! (We also learned that “can’t” is NOT in the kids’ yoga vocabulary)
After the training, I forgot about the Crow for a little while (probably on purpose), until one day when my friend’s eight-year-old daughter said, “Look what I can do!” … and, easy as can be, folded herself right into the Crow.
That’s when the Crow became my mission. I took baby steps. First, I started building my upper body strength by adding pushups to my daily schedule (that in itself is a huge accomplishment for me!). Every once in a while I would try out the Crow, just like we were taught at the training. Some days were better than others, and one day I almost fell on my face. I wasn’t quite there. I didn’t beat myself up about it though because I knew I would get there one day.
Let me back up and get a little personal. Not too many years ago I would’ve said, “Oh well – Crow pose just wasn’t meant for me.” Self-confidence was not my strong point, and there were way too many “can’ts” and “nevers” in my vocabulary. I would have taken one look at the Crow and given up before trying. Fast forward to now, and my life is very different – in a really good way. The fact that I even took the kids’ yoga training is a testament to the new me. Now when I find something that piques my interest, I don’t think to myself, “I could never do something like that.” Instead I ask myself, “Is that something I want to pursue?” Then I find a way to do it. I took the training, and now I teach yoga to children.
When you start off on the path to learning something new, the journey itself will inspire you to continue. You’ll find yourself getting stronger mentally, physically, or both. How cool is it to think to yourself, “I used to not be able to do that at all, then I worked my butt off, and now I can do it!” It’s not just kids who get a self-esteem boost when they can finally do the Crow!
Is the ability to do Crow pose a necessity in life? No, but I believe that constantly challenging yourself, even if it’s something as small as perfecting a yoga pose, is a necessity in life.
So find your challenge – your Crow – and conquer it! Keep going, a little bit at a time. Practice, practice, practice. You’ll get there.
At this point, you may be wondering, did she get there? Has she conquered the Crow?!
I’ll let you keep wondering. The moral of the story is…it doesn’t matter. Whether I’ve already conquered the Crow, or whether it finally happens next week – I didn’t say “can’t” and I’ll never say “never”.