In ACTIVISM, YOGA

“Well, I guess that wasn’t a complete and total fail,” I said to my husband after dinner.

I made tacos for the first time for our kids and both kids had at least tried them. Milly even ate an entire taco. Archer happily asked for multiple plain tortillas, which he has eaten many times before. Given that my kids are very selective with what they eat and one of my children consumed a taco full of protein-rich beans, I felt this was a win.

On the other hand, Nathan had complained that the taco shells were wrong and it ruined the taste, which is probably why the kids didn’t LOVE them.

So naturally, instead of focusing on the fact that the tacos were mostly a success, I lamented my inability to pick the correct shells for the perfect taco experience.

Typical.

And as I felt myself slide into the familiar feeling of failure, I asked myself why I was so upset about it.

If yoga has taught me anything, it’s that I rarely achieve immediate success with anything I’m doing for the first time.

While some poses and actions come more naturally to me (helloooooooo, wheel pose), others don’t (I’m looking at you, arm balances and inversions).

It took me YEARS to feel confident in crow pose and now I can do crow push-ups.

When I think back to the first time I tried crow pose, I could barely get both feet off the ground. I looked more like a hovering frog than a crow.

I couldn’t hold it long and fell on my face often.

Neither of those things prevented me from trying over and over and over.

One of the greatest gifts that yoga has given me is a willingness to fail and the desire to keep trying.

And incidentally, this applies to so much beyond the yoga mat, too.

In fact, this applies perfectly to doing the work to be anti-racist.

White folks, including me, are frequently afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing.

No one wants to be wrong. And even more so, no one wants to look bad.
Nothing looks uglier than racism.

We’re worried about admitting to our biases, unconscious or otherwise.

We’re afraid of showing off our ugliness to the world.

Thing is, just like on the yoga mat, perseverance is important.

As Ericka Hines says, “Be humble and ready to fumble.”

When it comes to dismantling the system of white supremacy, fumbles will happen. White folks will make mistakes. What matters most is listening to black, indigenous, and other people of color, learning, making course corrections, and continuing to try.

Yes, the stakes are even higher than in crow pose.

You might fall on your face and look like an asshole.

The important piece is to try and no longer BE an asshole.

This is what creates change.

And here’s the kicker:

Just like there are some days that crow pose will feel easy, so will the anti-racist work.

And there are other days when you’ll feel like your whole body is heavy and you can’t get your feet off the floor. Or you lift off but keep sliding down.

Just because you get it once and have gotten better at the actions, it doesn’t mean it will be smooth sailing all the time.

On the other hand, it will feel more familiar and less daunting.

This lesson is one that I learn and keep learning.

Just like I’ll never stop trying crow pose on my mat, I am committed to anti-racism.

And also making really good tacos.

 

If you want to work on Crow Pose, check out one of my YouTube videos:

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