Yoga For When You Are Feeling Scared
Welcome to your yoga practice for when you are feeling scared. Fear is an emotion that flows through us from time to time. Fear may become present when watching a scary movie, when you see a spider, or when a friend jumps out of a closet to scare you. Typically the fear dissipates rather quickly when you realize that you’re not in danger. However, what happens when your mind and body feel unsafe? What happens when the danger signal is turned on and you’re unsure how to turn down this signal? What happens when you are unaware that it’s fear that you are experiencing in your body?
Fear is an emotion that must be processed, otherwise it can become stuck within the body (this is true of any emotion). If not processed, we may find that the fight-or-flight response remains turned on. This can impact our autonomic systems, such as heart rate, digestion, breathing patterns, elimination processes, and so on. This is why it’s important to recognize the fear, acknowledge its presence, and provide yourself with messages of safety through breathwork, soothing words, grounding yoga poses, and holding an object (like a stuffed animal, blanket or pillow) to keep you tethered to the here and now. This can help you work through the fear and help you tap into the parasympathetic nervous system (rest-and-digest).
I’ll provide a personal example. I have experienced chronic pain. I panicked when the pain wouldn’t go away. I searched relentlessly on Google to try to understand what was happening to me and why I was experiencing these sensations. I saw various healthcare practitioners and underwent way too many tests to try and figure out what on earth was going on with me. All the tests came back normal. This was excellent news; however, I was still experiencing pain and other symptoms. I was on a quest for answers and received physical treatment over the last 3 years for who knows what. All of which provided either temporary relief or no relief. I have finally uncovered what’s been going on due to having a better understanding of the mind-body connection and pain science. Long story short, all this searching for answers and treatment put me in a fear state. I didn’t even realize how scared I was of the pain until I cried. I remember saying to my husband through my tears, “I am so scared of this pain. I am so scared that it won’t go away. When will it stop?” Releasing that emotion in the form of tears and verbally expressing what I was feeling was what my mind and body needed in that moment. Once I became aware of the presence of fear, the internal healing work could begin.
This class invites you to recognize where you feel the fear in the body. You will have an opportunity to lean into that emotion (even if it’s only for a moment), and then you will explore postures, breathwork and other strategies to give you space to process that emotion in a way that feels safe in your body.
It is my hope that this practice serves you well.