Arguably the most debilitating emotion is fear. We have all experienced it, all been paralysed by it and at some point we all have overcome it.
The truth is that fear creeps into almost every aspect of our lives but it doesn’t have to be our prison. If you want freedom from fear, you also need to learn how to work with it. You’ve no doubt heard or experienced how yoga can help you release fears from your body and with the right direction it can liberate you from fears of the mind and emotions too.
Yoga offers up many ways to explore and conquer fear from the first time you walked into the studio a little apprehensive, to the first time you let go to fall into deep meditation or floated into a headstand. For me meditation will always be the path to explore the deeper aspects of our lives.
Meditation is, among other things, a journey through the layers of your psyche. With practice you travel past the fairly superficial level of your conscious mind, often called the monkey chatter, & you delve deeper into the layers hiding our inner truth. You will encounter your subconscious, with its insights, feelings of blissfulness, waves of ecstasy, burning anger or swamps of sadness. One of the great attributes of meditation practice is that it can teach you to move through these layers without identifying with them. With practice, you learn to recognize that all this stuff is arising & passing. If you can learn to stay with your meditation when fear shows up, resisting the impulse to believe the story that fear is telling you, you will allow your psyche to cleanse itself of the fear. The basic practice is to recognise thoughts and feelings for what they are. You are not the thoughts or feelings, you are someone experiencing a momentary thought or feeling nothing more. As you train yourself in meditation to hold steady with emotions and not be completely consumed by them, it becomes easier to do this in life.
Don’t expect or try to exorcise fears or emotions immediately and don’t purposefully pull in specific thoughts. Approach each meditation with openness and let whatever transpire come to be.
Another way to explore fear is to challenge yourself. We do this in a Yoga Class every time you step on the mat and this month we are going even further!
We are going to set some challenges that will encourage you to move into fear, & explore its different layers in the body and mind.
As always the Yoga Life way to do this is to get some banging tunes on, make it fun & to emphasise we are ALL in this together & we are ALL going to get stuck in!
As this months challenge has been set by Gareth we can offer up his mantra for fear: “F@*k you fear”! He means it too.
Check out our Facebook page to get involved with the challenge and have a chance to win a Yoga Life non-slip hot yoga mat worth £90!!
Peace & Love