Finding Courage on the Yoga Mat - Aura Wellness Center

Finding Courage on the Yoga Mat

finding courage

By Dr. Paul Jerard E-RYT 500, YACEP

Finding courage in Yoga practice is not an accident. Yoga is a system that can help you to find the courage within yourself. It is not an accident that people who practice Yoga often find themselves more courageous in their everyday lives. When you commit to Yoga practice, you are opening yourself up to new possibilities and ways of being. You also give yourself the time and space to explore your inner strength and power.


Cultivating Confidence

As you move through the poses and breathwork, you will find that you are capable of so much more than you ever thought possible. Yoga will help you to find the courage to face whatever comes your way, both on and off the mat. Yoga practice can be a great way to cultivate confidence. By learning and practicing new poses, we can become more aware of our bodies and their capabilities.

Creating Positive Habits

Making being brave a habit is a method of finding courage in your Yoga practice. It can be as simple as taking a deep breath and stepping onto your mat or confronting a challenging pose you’ve been avoiding. You’re building courage and strength every time you do something that makes you uncomfortable. Over time, you’ll find that you can handle anything that comes your way on and off the mat.



This can help us to feel more confident in our physical abilities and give us the courage to try new things. In addition, the focus on breath control and mindfulness central to yoga can help us quiet our inner critics and become more accepting of ourselves. As we learn to be more present, we can also learn to let go of fears and self-doubt that may be holding us back.

Outside the Comfort Zone

One of the things that yoga teaches us is how to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. This can be applied to any area of our lives where we feel fear or insecurity. When we face our fears head-on, we often find that they’re not as bad as we thought. This gives us the courage to keep going, even through tough things. Yoga practice can help us to become more comfortable with the unknown and to trust that we can handle whatever comes our way.


Fear is a Prison

Fear can be a prison, preventing us from living our lives to the fullest. It can cause us to miss out on opportunities and experiences that could be life-changing. However, we don’t have to let fear control us. Yoga practice can help us to find the courage to face our fears head-on. We can learn to quiet the mind and listen to our inner wisdom through breathwork, asanas, and meditation. We can discover what it is that we’re truly afraid of and start to work through those fears. When we find the courage to face our fears, we open up a new world of possibilities.

Daily Ritual

In our Yoga practice, we can cultivate courage daily to face our fears and doubts. On the mat, we are challenged to step outside our comfort zones, try new things, and push ourselves further than we thought possible. This requires us to muster up courage time and time again.


Trust the Process

Through this process, we develop strength of character and inner fortitude that carries over into every aspect of our lives. We learn to trust ourselves more, listen to our intuition, and believe in our abilities. In short, yoga helps us to find the courage within ourselves that we need to face whatever life throws our way.

Identify Triggers of Fear

Before you can find courage in your yoga practice, you must first acknowledge your fear. Once you have identified the fear, bring your attention to your breath. Breathe deeply and slowly through your nose, allowing the exhale to be twice as long as the inhale. As you focus on your breath, notice the way your body feels. Are you tense or relaxed? Slowly move your body, mindful of how your muscles feel as they stretch. As you become more comfortable with the sensation of fear, it will dissipate, replaced by courage.


About Setbacks

In Yoga practice, it is important to learn from our setbacks. We can use them as opportunities to reflect on our goals and find new ways to move forward. By staying present and focused on our breath, we can bring our attention back to the present moment. This will help us to let go of any negative thoughts or feelings that may be holding us back. We can discover our true strength and potential when we face our fears and challenges with courage.

Mindfulness Meditation

When we find the courage to be present with ourselves, we open the door to true healing. We can learn to become more aware of our thoughts and feelings without judgment through mindfulness meditation. This allows us to see things as they are, which can be liberating. When we practice Yoga with this increased awareness, we may find that our experience on the mat becomes more meaningful. We can connect with our authentic selves and let go of anything that no longer serves us. In this way, Yoga becomes a journey of self-discovery and transformation.


Creating Positive Thoughts

Yoga cultivates courage by creating positive thoughts. One way to do this is to practice positive affirmations or mantras. These can help to remind you of your strength and power and help you to stay focused and present at the moment. Some examples of affirmations that you could use during your yoga practice include “I am strong,” “I am capable,” and “I am worthy.” Repeating these affirmations to yourself can help to give you the courage you need to face whatever challenges come your way.

Building Inner Strength

When you face your fears in yoga practice, you are building courage. It takes courage to step on your mat and show up for yourself, even when you don’t know what the practice will bring. Yet, by facing your fears, you open yourself up to new possibilities and a greater sense of courage. In yoga, we often talk about the “edge” where we feel like we might fall over or fail. It is at the edge that we find our courage because it is only when we are willing to go there that we can grow and learn.


Practical Application

How do we get courage in real life? Courage usually comes with experience or training. It is something that we often need in real life. It can be hard to cultivate, but Yoga practice can help. In yoga, we learn to face our fears and move through them. We learn to be present at the moment and trust ourselves. These skills can be transferred off the mat and into our lives. When we face our fears with courage, we can achieve anything.

About Mentors

If you’re looking to find courage in your yoga practice, one of the best things you can do is find a mentor. A mentor can help guide you through difficult poses and provide support and encouragement when needed. They can also offer advice on overcoming any fears or doubts that might be holding you back from fully embracing your practice. By seeking out a mentor, you’ll have someone to help you navigate the challenges of yoga and ultimately find the courage to reach your goals.


© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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Finding Courage in Yoga Practice

By: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed

Finding courage when you need it most is a valuable skill. Yet, how can we put fear aside while shaking in our boots? 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 life’s challenges with confidence, resolution, bravery, and equanimity.

Classic Lessons

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 heart and mind to uproot any mental, physical, or emotional obstacles that may be preventing you from finding courage will help you reach your goals on and off the Yoga mat.


Transformation of Purpose

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, we must fully become aware of and understand the habits holding us back. Regarding thought patterns or conditioning that undermine a sense of purpose and courage, slowing down enough to listen to our internal dialogue will help us, as Yoga practitioners, release unsupportive thoughts and beliefs about the world.

Example of Empowerment

For instance, if you are a newly certified Yoga teacher and 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 regularly? 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 underlying assumptions and beliefs may be holding you back from establishing a full-time teaching schedule that will financially support you.


The Power of Journaling

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 daily 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.

Reinforce Your Purpose

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 limiting your dreams, you will be empowered to let go of negative thoughts. These negative thoughts prevent you from realizing your dreams and goals in the coming years.

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

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