The Fear Factor

In a yoga class, whenever the teacher asked us to do a backbend, arm balances or inverted poses, I squirmed restlessly.  The worst point was quietly leave the session.  What happened?


Then I analyzed deeply into my own life.  Is this how I face obstacles, by shying away from the core issue, hoping that it will disappear quietly and by time? Or if I do face it, do I face it rationally with most facts at hands, or blindly enter or emotionally just do it?  The latter one, as I am getting older and hopefully wiser, tends not to do.


Through all my life, being fearful is what’s I am all about.  Fear to fall, fear to fail, fear to take risk, fear not being accepted by the norm… I may say that my parents and someone who used to be significant in my life, influenced and encouraged me either to be fearful or only looking on the negative side of life.  Now, it is not fair at all to blame it on them, because then I do have issue about my own self development.  


It was through fear that I became dependent, became attached either to other being or things.  It was through fear that I lost a lot of balance internally.


As time passed, as life philosophy becomes more crystallized, I view fear as a reality, which can be prioritized, dealt with and reasoned with logically.  


If I fear to fall in a head-stand, would I give up on the first attempt?  Or blindly keep on practicing or should I find out more about the techniques and an interest to try again in my next practice…


If I fear to take a risk, when do I know that the next action is actually a bigger risk for me without me knowing it?  Every step of a life has its risk, it really depends on which angle to deal with first. 


Importantly I notice, that facing the fear is about having trust and confident in yourself, as well as patient to understand root of cause, and understanding on what it takes to get it resolved.


After 7 years of on-and-off practice, I finally can practice confidently urdvha danurasana (wheel), pincha mayurasana (feathered peacock pose), sirsasana (headstand), bakasana (crane pose) and so on… So what?  Yes, I would feel very satisfied that I have conquered my own fear, but I will not stop to look out for more challenges and able to face them, even if they look scary and unbelievably complicated.  It helps me to move on to the next level in life.  More importantly, through facing my own fear, I feel truly joy and happiness.


To me, yoga has given a larger meaning than just ability to do certain asanas (poses).  It has given me a deeper meaning on the philosophy of life, of my own life especially.   






Note:  pictures taken from Yoga Journal.


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