Conquer your fear in yoga practice

Recently, one of classmates in YTT asked me what I considered the biggest problem in my yoga practice, without any thinking, I reply “fear”.Actually, in my past yoga practice, I never rushed to any asana, the upside down, arm balance, or deep back-bend. I always thought if the time is right, it will happen naturally. I felt good because I could make progress very steadily and never got hurt. Until one day, my friend advise me to take a very popular teacher Marysia’s class, after one class of her, I felt very frustrated and I just thought it was a wrong class for me as she add handstand in all Surya Namaskar variation. Because when I leave the wall, I even dare not to kick let alone kick up. At that time I realized there was too much fear and tension in my mind. I reflected my yoga practice, I found even in headstand which I can get up and keep balance, I still couldn’t leave the wall, which really makes me depressed for a long time. I kept asking myself “you know the techniques in detail and you are able to hold the pose, why you must do it face the wall, what exactly the wall can give you?” .From then on, I found fear is the biggest obstacle in my practice, honestly, I still struggle with this problem now, but I have made some progress, so I’d like to share some experience about conquer fear that I learned from some teachers and relevant articles. 1. Start with your mind. Figure out what pose you want to do, only observe demonstrate as detailedness as possible, then physically practice in your mind that visualize yourself on the same way. In order to understand the role model, your mind will sees and find out of the muscles involved in the process to some degree. Finally when you do it on yourself, it will decrease fear because you know what going to happen as it have done multiple times in your mind. 2. You cannot do is not mean you cannot try Nothing can replace practice, maybe everyone around you can do handstand very well, you are not supposed to take child pose to skip the handstand. Even you fear it, just do it without thinking, and try it over and over again. Then take a video about yourself, observe what you do, compare it with the one that you visualize in your mind, find the difference between them and try again. 3. It’s not so serious, it’s just yoga, have fun! We do yoga because we love it, play around at a wall, play around in a park with friends, and play on a beach, where if you fall, you just get some soft sand on the landing. Enjoy fall down, it’s just a different feeling. 4. Think about why you are scared. It’s probably an issue that goes a lot deeper than on your yoga mat, I remember a teacher said that sometimes you practice enough but still cannot do a pose it’s probably not physical problem, its mental problem. So maybe you can recall the past events to find what happens on you, get to the root of the matter.

Rao Xinyi (200YTT,weekend class)