This picture is from when I worked at Hariharalaya Retreat Centre in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
I was playing around near one of the old temples and some of the local kids came up. They didn’t speak any English, but saw me crawling around and having fun and walked right up.
Then they started joining in!
For weeks after these pictures, they would come and join in my outdoor Yoga sessions, or sit and meditate with me while the class was resting. It wasn’t unusual for the class to open their eyes and find two kids and a dog sitting on my mat with me.
And the biggest takeaway for me was (and is) that these kids had NO FEAR.
Not only did they not worry about the fact we didn’t have a language in common, but when I moved in a way they thought was cool they would go straight to imitating it.
If I showed a handstand, there was no worrying about ‘I don’t think I can do that’, they just gave it a red-hot go. And more often than not, they’d find something cool to do physically (even if it wasn’t exactly a handstand).
I try to emulate this lack of fear in trying new things. In a way that’s how I got into steel-bending, how I manage to practice a bit of Capoeira here and there, and how I have theoretically embarrassed myself falling down in public several times over the last year. I say theoretically because I no longer find it too embarrassing to try and fail at a new skill.
Bottom line? If we move beyond fear and just try things that look like fun, life is better. And there’s really no benefit to being scared of movement.
Whereas looking at someone doing something interesting and sighing about how you could never do that is unlikely to ever lead you anywhere interesting.
Here’s an idea. Next time you see someone showing a cool skill, walk up and ask if they’ll teach you. They will probably be up for it and you’ll have a better experience than if you just write off your ability to participate.
Has this happened to you? Where you saw something and doubted your ability to try it?
Would you do it differently now?
~Move how you love, love how you move~