“Do what scares you”. That’s what they say, right? A lot of people have reservations about yoga. They fear that they can’t do it because they’re not flexible enough, not strong enough, to active. They fear that to be a yogi you must be a kale-loving-hemp-seed-eating-hippie. And even those who can get over these initial fears, start to form new fears during practice. They are scared to try a new arm balance, they are scared they will topple over in headstand and crush the person next to them. They are scared to challenge themselves and get out of their comfort-zone.
Then we have the opposite side of things. Those who don’t allow their fears to come out during yoga. They keep everything bottled up and when given the chance to truly have a release during their practice, they fear that their fear will be to much to handle. They fear opening up and letting their emotions show and be present. They fear that once they do, they won’t be able to stop. They won’t be able to control the emotion, the pain, the reality.
But that is what yoga is for. Not only can it be a killer work-out, a peaceful stretch, a mindful meditation. It is also there for you to overcome fear. Your practice call you to the mat, to let go off all the misconceptions you hold about the art itself. When you do that, it also allows you to dig into you own fears. To explore that emotion, to connect with you heart and find out what truly lies underneath.
You begin your practice with fear, but through your practice you release it. You overcome it. You find what you need from your practice that day and you fully embrace it. Letting that fear and frustration come out to the forefront while holding chair pose for an ungodly amount of breathes. Then you fold down and flow through a vinyasa, back to down-dog and you start to push that fear out. You start to acknowledge that it is there, that you have it, but that the only way to grow and overcome, is to let it go.
From fearing a certain pose, to fearing the decision you have to make when you go home. Your practice, the art of yoga, is there to help you. It can create fear, it can resolve fear, it can make you understand fear. By getting on your mat and standing tall, then fully embracing everything that is about to come at you, that will come to your mind and body. They emotion, the shaking legs, the power and strength that is needed. By embracing this, we embrace out fear and we begin to understand it. We begin to see what it truly means and what is truly causing it. Yoga allows you to use you body to explore and discover, to learn and challenge your emotion and full-being.
Yoga and fear go hand-in-hand. They work together to make you more fully aware and to realize that your fear is not the end. You can overcome your fear no matter what it is. You use yoga to find it, acknowledge it, learn from it, and find a means to an end.
The power of the practice is to find the fear, challenge the fear, and inspire yourself to keep going and never give up.
**Yesterday at the end of my practice, I was practicing my forearm stands, scorpion, and charging scorpion. I have feared headstand through all my years of yoga and could just never do it. But I decided to challenge that fear since it was only myself keeping me form it. I am able to hold forearm stand indefinitely so I must be able to do headstand. I gathered up my courage and from forearm, lowered my head to the ground and got in to headstand for the first time! I even got into the lotus pose variation! Last night I conquered my fear of headstand. That moment has given me the courage and strength to get through the rest of the week without fear, without holding back.**
So tell me:
+ How has you practice helped you overcome fear?
+ I know that really any form of dedicated fitness can help with fear and emotion. If your a runner, lifter, biker. How have you embraced your “art” and allowed it to help you overcome?
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