Halloween is approaching and many of us will dress up like vampires and ghouls, work to scare people, celebrate the horror genre and watch scary movies. What are you afraid of? Well, besides that scary clown who may or may not be hiding underneath your bed?
On a more serious note, have you examined the concept of fear and how it impacts you?
Fear is a necessary part of life. If we didn’t have healthy fear of dangerous activities like jumping off cliffs or walking down dark alleys in sketchy neighborhoods, we might get injured or worse. One of the biggest human drives is to protect ourselves from pain and loss, but sometimes we hold ourselves back because we are afraid of being hurt.
According to Patanjali, the author of the Yoga Sutras, the biggest fear we face is the fear of death, referred to as abhinivesha. In theory, all our fears stem from this all-encompassing one. When you contemplate how fear impacts you, you’ll realize both courage and fear are housed in the heart. Courage and love are often used interchangeably––being vulnerable is one of the greatest acts of strength. We face the choice to act from a place of bravery or operate from a place of fear every day.
Our yoga practice can help us conquer our fears and shift our attitude off the mat.
On the mat, take a moment to identify what scares you––falling, looking silly, or injuring yourself? When you know exactly what is holding you back, it’s easier to work on overcoming fear to move forward. If it’s ego, let it go. Trust us, nobody is paying attention to what you’re doing on your mat, they are too focused on their own experience. If you have physical limitations, of course be smart and protect yourself, but often we hold back because of a perceived fear, not an actual limitation. Look inward and ask yourself what you are doing.
During a consistent practice, you have time for self-contemplation and that allows you time to understand what fears are hindering you living your fullest, most free life. Greater discernment empowers us. We’re not saying you will live your life fearless at all times. Instead, work toward the understanding that often fear lives in our mind and we have the power to transform fear into freedom.
This week we’ve got four new practices designed to help you face your fears and transcend them through mindful movement, breath, and meditation. Happy Halloween!
Enjoy this four new classes now, to support yourself in overcoming fear!
1. Jackie Casal Mahrou - Empowerment Flow 4: Know Thyself
2. Dia Michelle Smith - Embracing Impermanence: A Death Meditation
3. Bhavani Maki - Fearless Love: Backbending into Freedom
4. Claire Petretti Marti - Overcome Fear: Chakra Balancing Flow
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