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Day 7: Gravity Always Wins and So Can You

Written by Ekras Gorakh

Gravity always wins, but I can do a headstand. What seems impossible can be achieved; you must know the gravity situation and move step by step.

I’m laying out 30 practices for a full life in this month. It’s day 7.

When automobile cars were first introduced, there weren’t many paved streets, and the cars performed poorly on unpaved streets. There’s no way automobiles could compete with horse-carts, and were just meant for clients that had access to city paved roads. There is no way that governments would spend all that money to pave streets all over the country- why spend when there is a perfectly good option available already? There was no chance automobile cars would be used outside the cities.

But here we are, a hundred years later, and we have paved streets from coast to coast. Horse carts are a novelty and automobiles are all around us. The rules of government investments were not changed, and yet the impossible happened. Step by step, it happened suddenly.

I have been practicing yoga asanas for a couple decades and have been teaching for six years. The trick to getting into a Shirsasana (headstand) safely is to know gravity and to take it step by step. If I just try to push myself upside down on my head I would topple over and break my back and neck. Because gravity always wins.

The way to get into a headstand inversion is to know that gravity doesn’t care if I am upside down. It just cares that I don’t let myself topple over. Every step I move, I have to keep my center of gravity inside my body, and then I can move to the next step, and so on until I get into the pose with a head-stand-with-full-lotus. It’s easy when you know how to.

स्थिर सुखम् आसनम् Sthira Sukham Asanam

Patanjali said, in the Yoga Sutras, Be still in a comfortable pose.

The momentum of the world is the gravity we have to work with and against. Whenever we want to do a thing that the world doesn’t want us to do, we don’t have to be discouraged thinking that it’s impossible. We just have to respect the momentum, and find the next step that the world will allow, and then the next step, until we are where we want to be.

In this way mastering a headstand is no different from fighting for minority rights, equal pay, your next startup idea or just changing our own bad habits. Once you know what the momentum is, you should be able to change step by step. The story of every “sudden” change is that it takes a lot of small steps to make big change happen. Jeff Bezos started Amazon with the dream of changing our shopping habits, but opened with a small category- books. His dream seemed ridiculous twenty years ago, and it seems inevitable now.

Step by step, he walked from his dream to our reality. Gravity was not with him, but he was clever enough to know that it wasn’t necessarily against him either. This is how I am approaching my life’s work as well. My dreams may be lofty, and my steps may be small, but I know that the world will change for the better when I am done.

About the author

Ekras Gorakh

Ekras Gorakh is a software executive and a yoga-meditation teacher living in San Francisco, CA.

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