choosing fearlessness in yoga and life

Choosing Fearlessness in Yoga Practice Spirituality

Yoga is for the fearless. Life “outside” of yoga isn’t for the faint of heart either. We must ask ourselves the reason we hold on to fear, when fearlessness is a choice made available to us. The choice can be subtle or bold. However, if a bold approach seems too daunting, we can take a step by step approach to gaining fearlessness. The commitment to choosing fearlessness is a full time commitment. We must choose to fearless seek to better ourselves on and off of the mat.

For example, some postures in yoga seem daunting, but with practice and grace many asanas are accessible to our bodies. With time we can allow ourselves to journey toward a full expression of a posture. This is similar to the manner we reach life goals in life.  

In our Hatha yoga practice there may be posture that we have a difficult time accessing. In some cases, the fear of falling or failing may keep us from journeying to the full expression of the posture. The technicalities of the posture itself doesn’t keep us from our goal, it is our fear holds us back. Once we acknowledge the fear, we can move through it. For example, posture of Bakasana (crow pose), requires trust in our strength, balance and the fearlessness to try to balance.The posture itself may seem to be daunting. It takes trust in our own ability and fearlessness to move forward to access the posture. Our head (ego) can’t lead to much, but nor can our heart, or we will fall forward literally, on our faces. They must be in balance. Once we find balance in between the heart and ego and embrace trust, bakasana isn’t nearly as scary and we fly in crow pose. When we acknowledge our fear of something, we can clearly line up our head and heart to journey through that fear properly. 

It’s similar off of the mat. Fearlessness doesn’t come to those who never move forward nor does it come to those who lead with ego or heart separately. We must find balance to find the strength to gain the fearlessness. Just standing in Mountain pose won’t get us far in yoga or in life. Even if we hold fear about things, we must move forward. If the movement is small, it’s fine. Small can be strong and powerful. A small movement can even be fearless. We take small steps so the “big” steps don’t seem so scary. The little movements allow us to access the fearlessness rather than taking on a task that seems to big or too inaccessible. 

Often times when we are fearful, it is because our point of focus (dristi) isn’t in the correct place. If our dristi is unfocused we may increase our chance of having the fear of falling.  While in bakasana, we must look forward and focus on a point in front of us. Looking backwards, even comparing our journey of person next to us else will prove to be futile. We are on our own journey to the full expression of the posture, comparison of journeys can cause confusion. Confusion is part of the reason we develop fear. It is infinitely important in yoga and in life to focus on your personal dristi.  In life, if we look beyond what is directly in front of us or even skyward, our balance levels out. When this happens we can think clearly and make adjustments as we deem necessary. Suddenly and sometimes not, what was veiled in fear seems to be a bit more accessible.

Is fear a necessary of the human experience?  It is a part of our existence and we need it, but it should not hinder our hatha yoga practice or our daily lives. Fear can keep us safe, but it should never control us from experiencing life fully. Reach for your fearlessness, you’ll get there. 

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