Flying 50 Feet Off the Ground in Crow Pose.

Via Anne Samit
on Aug 27, 2012
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Photo taken by Emily Kaiser, NYC
Photo taken by Emily Kaiser, NYC

Crow Pose taught me to trust my body and push past the fears in my mind.

This past summer, my 25-year-old daughter climbed more than 50 feet above the ground, strapped on a harness, grabbed a bar and jumped off a platform. She flew on the flying trapeze next to the Hudson River!

Often, she will call as she walks to various destinations in New York City, and this day was no different. She is a jewelry designer and was actually getting her spring line ready, even though it was not yet fall. It had turned August into a hectic work month as she designed and produced her new line. She called to vent about the hitches and obstacles she was facing.

I am an understanding and patient mother.

I don’t understand why all that is making you crazy! I exclaimed. Why aren’t you beside yourself about going on a flying trapeze?!? Call me when it’s over!

My daughter has always been what I call a participant. At five years old, she let the summer camp counselor put a floatie on her back and jumped off the high dive. She learned how to swim without hesitation. Growing up, she went on every roller coaster no matter how high or how many loops. She has been hot air ballooning twice. She is always game to try something new.

And now the flying trapeze.

Are you sure she is your daughter? my friends ask me.

I am cautious. I was not always this way. As a young child, I was pretty much a tomboy. Growing up, I would pretty much just follow my gut, not thinking too hard about things and making decisions easily.

In yoga, I have had to tap back into that fearlessness, wherever it hides, in order to attempt many poses.

When I first started yoga, I could get into some of the initial phases of poses by virtue of simple coordination. But, as I progressed, yoga seemed to demand more of me, and not just strength and stretch and balance. It demanded fearlessness, and it started with Crow.

Crow begins with a yoga squat. Crouched low on the mat, hands are placed in front of the feet with elbows bent. Knees sneak up onto the elbows, making their way towards the underarms. The body tilts forward, the face leans down, the bottom lifts, and the feet come off the ground.

The instructor would demonstrate Crow for the room. He would easily lean into it and even go further, pressing into his hands and raising his body into the air, his legs lifting easily toward the sky, floating diagonally and against gravity on just his hands, face resting in the air above the mat.

For myself, I feared a face plant.

Once you are not afraid to teeter forward, he’d say, you will be able to feel it and find it.

It took quite some time for me to risk the fear of leaning forward and to trust myself to find that teeter point. It just did not seem to make sense in my head. However, after a while, it made sense to my body, and I found it.

Today, I move easily into Crow, my face inches from the mat.

Perched there, it is a far cry from climbing 50 feet in the air and flying above a net but, to me, I am soaring.


Editor: Kate Bartolotta

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About Anne Samit

With the sole intention of exercising for the first time in her life, Anne Samit's simple quest to exercise ignited a therapeutic journey of self-discovery. She blogs on the impact of her practice, and her new book, Unfold Your Mat, Unfold Yourself: Essays on Yoga’s Healing Truths and So Much More, compiles these essays in an effort to share with readers both the awakening and the solace that she has found on the mat. A native Washingtonian with a passion for writing, an interest in painting and a background in public relations, she is presently an executive assistant at a health industry consulting company. Her two children live in New York City where they practice yoga, too. Connect with Anne on her blog and on Facebook.


7 Responses to “Flying 50 Feet Off the Ground in Crow Pose.”

  1. edieyoga says:

    Love it. Simple and honest. Posting to main page. Thanks.
    For the record, have been doing yoga over 10 years and it's not the face plant. That I can do…soaring? Well, I balance for a second maybe, maybe two…

  2. Anne says:

    Grateful for your comment, Edie. I've only been at it for a year and a half, but moving into Crow was a main event for me. Now, my objective is to tuck my knees even higher and lift myself even more. That would be truly soaring.

  3. pattypink says:

    I can only balance for half a second. Been trying for a year. I'm learning to accept that I can't do it perfectly all the time or even some of the time, but to keep on trying.

  4. Sadists_magick says:

    I live in hope then … at the moment, I barely able to lift both feet off the ground for a nanosecond – but it's a nanosecond more than before! Thank you for this wonderful post and the picture you paint of your fearless daughter!

  5. Anne says:

    Don't stop trying, Patty. Supposedly, the key is finding the teeter point. But, I think more the key is finding the courage and faith to tilt forward. It is almost counterintuitive.

  6. Anne says:

    Thanks so much for your comment and your compliment. My daughter's fearlessness has certainly proved to be an inspiration for me. And, by the way, a nanosecond in yoga can be a lengthy time, if you ask me!

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