by Blakeney Schick
For years, I have worked on crow pose. And for years, it has remained a mystery. After a bad fall on to my right wrist, pain became part of the equation, taking the pose off the table for me for months at a time. But when my wrist is feeling good, there have been months when it has seemed to be right around the corner and others when it’s become a mirage in the desert.
Being thisclose to finding crow has been a valuable teacher. Working on crow — finding the actions and the strength that the pose requires — has also helped me build a better plank pose. It has helped me find my abdominal muscles over and over again. It has taught me how to ground down into my hands to lift away from the mat. I have learned how to take better care of my wrists. And that has carried over into my entire practice.
But crow’s biggest impact has been on my mind. Being thisclose teaches me patience. There are days when I would love to skip ahead to the part where I can already do the pose. And there are days when I think I should be able to do the pose by now. But it simply doesn’t work that way. So I work to be patient and trust the process. I have to trust that I am learning how to do this pose each and every time, no matter how close I come. And working on crow encourages me to continue to tinker and play with things because who knows what instruction or key action will help me put the pieces together.
Some poses come easily to us — our bodies just seem to understand how to do them without much prodding. Others do not. How we work with this second category of poses and how we work toward them is rarely linear. Every time a teacher tells the class to move into crow pose, I remind myself that my practice does not look like anyone else’s. Faced with inconsistent results, I have learned the importance of the consistency of trying. So I climb up on my block, find the key actions, and start to lift up as I move my weight forward. Because who knows? Today could be the day.