What Stops Us Being Fearless
According to Webster dictionary, fear is defined as “a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.” This is one of the emotions that you may encounter during aspects of your teacher training with us in Ubud, Bali. It may be while sitting still and looking inwards in meditation, in your Chakra class discussion, while standing in front of the class and teaching, or while flying in Bakasana (Crow Pose). One could argue that a person needs “fear” to protect themselves, but in many situations a person actually holds themselves back the moment they are face-to-face with their fear.
Fear does not always mean legitimate threats in a life-or-death situation. Often traumas or bad incidents are experienced by us as a physical and emotional danger and they trigger a fear response within us. But how do we face this demon inside of us and be fearless in life?
Feel and Recognize Your Fear
Before you can start overcoming fear, you have to feel, acknowledge, and accept the fear. For some of us, we might not even notice that we are in fear. How do we spot it? One way to spot it is to be mindful at all times. Notice when the feeling starts to crawl in your body. When this happens, don’t run away, and suppress the feeling inside of you. Instead, acknowledge and accept it. Having a journal, writing down what happens when fear arises might help you to see it coming. You’d be surprised how much of your time is spent unconsciously experiencing fear, worries, and anxiety.
Conquer Fear Through Yoga
After you acknowledge and accept that fear arises, you can take steps to conquer it. It is sometimes through accepting, confronting and overcoming the darkest fears that you find the space to grow.
But how can you conquer your fear? The most efficient way to conquer your fear is through your breath. In yoga, we tap into our breath. Pranayama – one of the limbs in Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga – gets us closer to our breath.
The moment you realize you are in fear, take a deep breath. Breathing deeply can help you to calm down. One of the great calming Pranayama techniques is Sama Vritti. Research shows that by accessing fear, we can access our sympathetic nervous system. This sympathetic nervous system regulates the body’s unconscious actions such as the fight-or-flight response. So this means that when we feel fear, panic, or anxiety, we can use our breath to calm the body down. How amazing is that?
Kicking through life without fear, using the very thing that we always carry with us: The Breath.