Have you ever been asked to do something a little out of your comfort zone and felt those old familiar butterflies start fluttering around in your stomach? Has a suggestion ever come up to do something so unfamiliar to you that it made you want to put your hand up as a stop sign and shout “No, stop, I can’t”. Perhaps you can think of many situations where the comfort of the known seems to outweigh the discomfort of the unknown.
These are such common reactions to the fear that new situations create. Once we understand that our body and mind is just trying to protect us, that this is simply our instinctual system trying to protect us from a potential threat – things get a little easier. We know, deep down, that many of these situations aren’t going to cause us harm – but still our body can turn on our alarm system. The degree to which that alarm system gets activated in new situations is different in each person, but it’s comforting to know that there are techniques that we can employ to help us transition into these necessary situations a little easier. After all, there are so many positives to be gained from trying new things and moving through our conditioned fear response.
Yoga can help.
The way we approach yoga itself is such a metaphor for an effective and positive approach to life. Through the practice of yoga we are able to reprogram our mind/body response to new and sometimes fearful situations.
The non-competitive approach to yoga postures, meeting ourselves in the here and now without judgement is one way. There are also breathing and meditation techniques that help us consciously move through new and stressful situations with more ease and comfort.
What we are ultimately teaching ourselves, through yoga, is how to free ourselves from the unconscious thought patterns and redundant instinctual pathways that can rule our lives.
We are recalibrating our body and mind to move through life consciously rather than unconsciously.
I realise that for some people, yoga may just be about the exercise. For me, it’s about so much more. That’s why at The Yoga Shed, I’ve tried to weave knowledge of the deeper benefits of yoga into all my classes. Understanding the deeper layers of yoga has helped me move through new and uncomfortable situations in my own life – and it’s only natural to want to share how yoga can create those benefits for others as well.