• Jaimie Perkunas

The Power of Fear


Self Empowerment

Blog ~ Action ~ Resource

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Fear is a powerful force. I find my fear tricks my mind into all sorts of irrational stories and beliefs and help to distract me from really looking within. I noticed how powerful my fear was when I was recovering from an injury. Injuries are a great opportunity to practice working through fear. I had grown a bit dependent and comfortable with my pain telling me where my boundaries were. Funnily enough, though my pain and weakness were resolving, I periodically find myself being scared again.

During the time in which my hip and back were so troublesome, I used my pain to help me set boundaries for myself. My pain would let me know when I was pushing too hard but when my pain is resolved (for which I am very grateful) I have lost that sense of boundaries. I would find myself fearful of not having pain anymore, not having that feedback to let me know what boundaries are appropriate to have. It seems a bit irrational to say “I am afraid of not having pain anymore”, don’t you think? One of most important things I did during my recovery was not being afraid of my pain and to keep fears that I would never recover out of my head. I used my yoga practice to help me focus on my breathing to keep my nervous system calm and my fear at bay. This concept was reinforced by a medical doctor I met at a yoga therapy conference.

I asked him about precautions for a yoga pose. He asked "What is their breath doing?" He said, “The body will tell you with your breath if it is OK to continue.” This really surprised me; it sounds so simple but it is also complex. I encourage you to try watching your breath in your yoga practice, meditation practice, when you are stressed, and when you get upset or scared.

Watch what happens and notice how the breath and the awareness of the breath changes in each situation.

When your yoga teacher mentions breathing or to inhale/exhale in class, are you aware each time they say it or is it just one more cue that often gets ignored?

Try to incorporate an awareness of your breath throughout the day and see what happens.

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