Many great teachers say that we are only ever in two states, fear or love. Fear is connected with our ego, our mind, and is not who we truly are. It is formed through our past experiences and our worries about the future. Love on the other hand is our true state of being, it comes naturally to us unless of course fear gets in the way.
Yoga is a great practice to notice our fears and turn them into love instead, here are a few ways how;
1. Meditation. As we begin to settle and quieten our mind all sorts of thoughts can come up and if there is something you have been feeling fearful about it’s sure to dominate everything. Rather than trying to force it aside, notice it and say to your self “I forgive this fearful thought, it is not real, I choose love instead”. Just notice the subtle shift this creates.
2. There will always be asana (yoga pose) that challenges you, that you feel you can not do. Back bends are a perfect example. In camel pose where you are kneeling and extending backwards, fear of stretching into the unknown, loosing control, can often arise. Notice where fear arises, support your body where needed rather than using force and bring a sense of exploration to it instead. By loving yourself to do what feels good for you instead of force you can quieten the fear.
3. Breaking through fears will raise your self confidence and faith in yourself. Headstands can be scary things, the fear of falling back and hurting yourself can be the very thing that stops you even trying them. However, when you love yourself enough to not let fear get in the way, to ask for support in helping you get up there and to practice safely with out force you will love the gifts it rewards you with.
4. A yogic diet is a way of being loving to your body. So often fear can rule our eating patterns, fear of putting on weight, fear of getting cancer or some other disease, fear of not having enough food and so on. A yogic diet is fresh, clean and naturally healthy, but also it is made with love. We are taught to cook our meals slowly, making it into a meditation, bringing gratitude and love to the food we have to prepare. It makes it taste even better and just bringing yourself into the moment like that is coming back to love.
I’d love to hear how you have experienced yoga over coming your fears?