Learning How to Fall


The fear of falling is one of the most basic anxieties anyone can experience. 
 



For some people, if they walk on a trail by the edge of a cliff, they cannot look down from a height without feeling a little dizzy.  Sometimes people even freeze in their movement because the fear of another step near the edge will lead to a fall. 

Freud thought that that feeling of looking down and fearing that you would fall into a long descent was actually because you had the desire to fall and feared your desire.  Sometimes people have dreams of flying and wake up with a start because of the landing. 
The uneasy feeling of being on the edge of a cliff is a feeling some people have going for a walk on uneven pavement or walking in the dark. 

We have various strategies for dealing with our fear of falling.  Most people try to prevent themselves from falling by stiffening their hips and the muscles of their back in such a way as to pull themselves away from the ground.  But let me suggest another way to approach the movement.

Instead of crashing to the ground, imagine that in the moment of sudden descent, your body could learn how to land safely and softly — without bruises or broken bones.

If you feel like you are going to fall, the safest thing is to learn how.  If you stiffen the muscles of your back and hips, you are more likely to hit the ground harder. 

One of the best strategies would be to learn to move to the ground as quickly as possible so you have control of your landing. It would be helpful to anyone who feels afraid of falling to practice getting down to the floor and up again as a mind body exercise. By practicing going down to the ground, you will eventually be able to move faster.

Most people can learn to move downward almost as fast as gravity speeds us.

In learning how to fall, you’ll learn to move as fast as gravity. 

One way to learn how to fall is to start on the floor and come to sitting in a chair very systematically and slowly.  Then, once you’ve mastered each step in the learning process, you can then speed it up as quickly as you want.  By starting on the floor and getting up, you’ll learn to reverse the trajectory perfectly going down to the floor.  This principle of reversibility in movement will help you control your body if you go at high speed.

For example, in the sample lesson, if many photographs were taken of you getting up into the chair and down to the floor, the viewer would not be able to distinguish which direction you are going because your movement, if controlled, would be completely reversible.