Showing up on the mat in and of itself is an act of bravery. "I am so inflexible", or “going upside down terrifies me, or "the person next to me can go deeper into this pose than me" are all a part of our internal monologue. We feel different after practice, though, don't we? What is it about yoga that gives us courage both on and off the mat?
When we feel the strength of our legs in Warrior 2, or the power of our breath as we flow through a Vinyasa, we are cultivating the courage to face our fears. Yoga teachers often speak of “finding your edge”, or “stepping out of your comfort zone”. This means facing our fears and moving past them - finding a place beyond where we were yesterday, moving forward to tomorrow.
Courage helps us move through and beyond our fears, emboldening us in our day to day interactions with the world. There’s a spillover effect. When we find the courage to move through our fears on the mat, we summon our breath and maintain the unwavering awareness through transitions.
It’s the same in life.
As yogis we cultivate this breath and learn to use it throughout the day, in every single thing we do. Maybe it’s in a queue at the bank, maybe it’s in traffic, at work or home. Whatever it is that we face, we know we possess the ability to breathe and move through it to the other side, beyond the edge, and outside of the comfort zone.
Be brave, yogis, and remember…all you need to do is breathe.