This title amuses me, which is ironic, because I wrote it. I am not fearless. I fear many things; those dark scary ones we all have, to the milder, somewhat unique fears probably exclusive to me. Also, I believe some fears are necessary. They are why we have survived as a race.
However, we all have those fears, thoughts and worries that wake us up at 4 a.m., or stop us from trying something new. I am a comfort zone type of girl, my best friend is from high school, I wear yoga leggings almost everywhere, and Friday nights I like pizza in my pajamas, especially in February in Ottawa. Yoga class reminds me that sometimes it is good to step out of my box, or well, at least leave my house. Apparently there’s a whole world out there.
It’s not easy, facing our fears. When we experience fear, our sympathetic nervous system, our fight or flight response, is triggered. This happens whether there is an actual bear in front of us, or just the thought of one. Our brains and our bodies are marvelous creations; they try as hard as they can to work in harmony, so if your brain decides you should be afraid, your body responds like you are.
There are many things I love about a great yoga class, but hands down one of the best is the breath. Our breath is the key to calming our sympathetic nervous system. It is the bridge that connects our mind and our body. And as you move your body through that great yoga class, you are continually cued to pay attention to what your body is doing, to pay attention to your breath. To strengthen that mind body connection so that when you use your marvelous brain to tell your body to relax, it does. So after yoga class when your brain tells your body you can handle this meeting, exam, coffee date or fear, you can.
A great yoga class is designed not only to help you strengthen that mind body connection, but the poses and sequences are built to help you release that energy the sympathetic nervous system has built up. As your mind relaxes, so does your body, and vice versa. That is why Savasana, that relaxation at the end of yoga class, feels so great.
Yoga has really helped me reach beyond what I thought I would be brave enough to try, including, but not exclusive to, approaching a yoga studio I love to offer to write a blog. To be honest, there might have been a tiny bit of wine involved in that one, but essentially it was yoga. If yoga did that for this girl, imagine what it can do for you!
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