Most of you probably know that I danced for a long time. Pretty much my whole life. I still like to, but I don't take class as much as I should. For years, though, it was just ballet and other forms of dance that kept me in shape. I've worked with great teachers who created great rooms, and other teachers who created...other rooms.
No matter how warm the classroom seems for a dance class, there's an unspoken rule of competition. Technically, it's with yourself, but I think every dancer is guilty of, "He has a triple. Why don't I have a triple? Dammit, I'm gonna do a triple. Right now."
Sometimes, that produces a thrilling result. Sometimes, you fall flat on your ass. To some people, it's OK either way. They keep mostly competing with themselves to become beautiful dancers and don't let the competition shit stress them out.
Personally, the competition always stressed me out. My thought immediately went to, "You have to do that and do it better and it has to happen right now." There was always an end result, an end goal. If it slipped farther away from me, I beat myself up about it until I almost hated going in the room at all just because of how I made myself feel.
There really isn't an end result in yoga. You keep going and trying to go deeper, express the pose fuller. But, you never really end. You're supposed to fall out. I love practicing in the room with teachers and competitors, people who have practiced this yoga every day for years. They still fall out. And they get right back in. The longer the dancer dances, he's expected not to fall out. You go to New York City Ballet, you expect a perfectly landed triple. Even watching an experienced yogi fall, the thought it, "What a wonderful moment before the fall!"
Don't get me wrong, I love seeing a dancer try and fall, sometimes more than seeing them land perfectly. But the expectation is not to fall. Sometimes, I feel like you're supposed to fall in yoga. Just go down hard and get back up.