Finding Courage on the Yoga Mat - Aura Wellness Center

Finding Courage on the Yoga Mat

online yoga instructor trainingBy: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed

According to the dictionary, courage is the ability to maintain a quality of spirit, mind and heart that empowers one to face fear, danger and the vicissitudes of life with confidence, resolution, bravery, and equanimity. In the classic Yogic tale of the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna faces his enemies with courage and determination only after pulling himself out of a place of despair, hopelessness and fear with the help of Lord Krishna. In the same way, examining your own heart and mind, in order to uproot any mental, physical or emotional obstacles that may be preventing you from fully embodying courage, will help you to reach your goals, both on and off the Yoga mat.


In order to manifest our dreams, goals and desires to serve others well in the world, we may need to adjust our habitual mental and physical ways of being. However, before adjusting and transforming habits that undermine our dreams, it is necessary to fully become aware of and understand the habits that are holding us back. In terms of mental thought patterns or conditioning that undermine a sense of purpose and courage, slowing down enough to listen to our own internal dialogue will help us, as Yoga practitioners, to release unsupportive thoughts and beliefs about the world.

For instance, if you are a newly certified Yoga teacher, and you are working on establishing a full teaching schedule, do you tend to believe that there are not enough “serious” Yoga students in your community who would be interested in taking Yoga classes on a regular basis? Or perhaps you feel that the only venue where you can teach a “real” Yoga class is a beautiful, serene Yoga studio with highly polished wood floors? These are some of the underlying assumptions and beliefs that may be holding you back from establishing a full time teaching schedule that will financially support you.


Taking the time each day to Journal some of these negating thoughts will help you to see these negative thinking patterns and beliefs more clearly. An easy way to begin to write down your thoughts on a daily basis is to set aside 5-15 minutes a day after your Yoga practice to simply let your thoughts flow onto the page, unimpeded by any self-censoring or judgmental thoughts. Remember, this is an exercise for you to gain some clarity and release your own limiting beliefs and thoughts. No one else ever needs to read what you have written! By becoming aware of the thought patterns that are limiting your dreams, you will be more empowered to let go of thoughts that are preventing you from realizing your dreams and goals in the year to come.

© Copyright – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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