“Fear can make a moth seem the size of a bull elephant.” Stephen Richards.
Fear is the inspiration behind this week’s article. For fear is an emotion that I have felt many times in my life. No matter what anyone said to me, once I started to feel fearful, it was difficult for me not to be scared.
Still, the times I have faced my fears have been when I have experienced the most transformation and growth. Looking back my fears were often unprecedented, built up in my mind or even imagined.
I have a saying that fear is a way of praying for the things we don’t want. I get it, the more energy we put into something then the more potential it has to become reality.
“By thought, the thing you want is brought to you; by action you receive it.” ― Wallace D. Wattles,
For me, fear can come when something external triggers a reminder of a time when I was scared. I detach from the present time and project into the past pain, causing my fears to take over. If I don’t mentally get back into the present moment, fear can control or restrict my actions, holding me back from being myself.
So what to do when fear strikes?
Below is my specially designed yoga sequence to help combat fear.
THE SEQUENCE, Please check your suitability to do yoga with your doctor before progressing
First warm up with several rounds of sun salutations. I haven’t made a video yet but found this great sequence on YouTube.
Pose 1 When feeling fear it helps to have courage. Boat pose is great for firing up courage and toning the body.
Sit down on the floor with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your chest as you bring the hands to the backs of the legs behind the knees.
Bring both feet off the floor so you are balancing in a V-shape.
If you can, bring the arms out in front of you.
The next stage is to straighten the legs, but only if you can keep the alignment of the pose.
Try holding for five breaths and repeat.
Things to remember:
Don’t collapse the chest
Remember to breathe
Try to be a boat rather than a sinking ship!
Pose 2 When feeling fearful a sense of letting it go can feel great. Seated twist is a good one for this.
Bend the right leg and cross it over the extended left leg so that the foot is on the floor as close to the other leg as is comfortable. Flex the extended foot and ground the body on the floor as you lengthen the spine upwards.
Inhale and, as you exhale, bend the left elbow, bringing the arm in front of the bent right thigh. Inhale and lengthen as you twist the torso and look over your right shoulder. Make sure your neck is long, so you are not sticking the chin out too much.
Keeping this shape, press the fingertips of the left hand to the floor with the arm extended behind you. With each breath feel as the torso lengthens, and with each exhalation you surrender a bit further into the pose. Then hold comfortably for five breaths. Come out gently and repeat on the other side.
Tip: Don’t turn your neck any further than you can turn your chest or you will not get the full benefit.
Pose 3 The antidote to fear is love. Open your heart chakra with my favourite pose at the moment Camel pose.
Come up into kneeling, extend your chest up and activate the core; as you lean back either keep your hands on your hips, or reach back and touch the feet ( for advanced yogis), all the time opening your heart. If you want to, try to imagine an emerald light emanating from your heart chakra. Come out slowly
Rest in kneeling with the buttocks on the heels for a few breaths, then repeat on the other side. Then take a few more breaths and come to lying on your back.
Lift the head back.
Do not squeeze the buttocks
Internally rotate the thighs
Don’t forget to breathe!
Feel as if the heart and throat chakra are opening.
Never force the body into this pose.
Pose 4 When feeling fear it is good to calm the nervous system and ground the body. Try Seated forward bend
Sit with the legs out in front of you, back nice and tall. If you find it hard to sit like this, place a block underneath the buttocks, which will help to elevate the body.
From this straight position bend forward from the heart: do not lead with the head and resist the temptation to let the shoulders rush off out in front of you, but rather let the shoulders surrender down the back.
Inhale as you bend forward and exhale as you touch the toes, shins or thighs, depending on how flexible you are. Hold for around 5 breaths.
Now rest for at least five minutes
Finally, try meditating when you feel fearful. It works for me.
I hope this helps. Please share!
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The Word Sprite