Releasing Fear with Yoga - Yoga Practice Blog

Releasing Fear with Yoga

releasing fear with yogaBy Amruta Kulkarni, CYT 500

How do we go about releasing fear with yoga training? This is a complicated process, but we can achieve courage without being reckless. Whether we realize it or not, fear is often a large part of life. The fear of disappointing others, taking career risks, or not accomplishing goals can affect our mental and physical health over time. Someone who constantly lives with fear and anxiety can develop high blood pressure, sleeplessness, depression, or even a heart condition. A session that includes pranayama, meditation, and stretching can be crucial to releasing fear with yoga and teaching people to live a more mindful, grateful life.


Heart-Opening Asanas

Knowing yourself is a huge part of releasing fear with yoga practice. The more comfortable you become with who you are, the more comfortable you become with all the world’s stimulation. Heart-opening poses help you open your heart to the truth, peace, and calm. When performing heart-opening poses, it might be helpful to repeat a mantra such as, “I am well and confident. There is nothing to fear.” This will help train your mind to release fear and negativity.


Yoga Poses for Fear

The Cobra pose will open the chest and release anxiety and fear from your heart. Half-frog, upward plank, bridge, and wheel pose will positively affect heart conditions, blood pressure, and stress. Releasing fear with yoga sequences is easy if you know what to do and continue to practice daily. Please don’t think daily commitments are too much when so many people easily commit to taking pills with plenty of side effects daily and for life.



Conscious, yogic deep breathing is a wonderful way to release fear with yoga, and it works on anxiety at the moment. There are some simple and effective breathing techniques. The “Relaxing Breath” is a technique in which you inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth, around your tongue, producing a sound. The tip of the tongue should rest behind the two front teeth on the top of the mouth. Hold your breath for seven seconds, inhale for four seconds, then exhale for about eight seconds. The exhale will produce a “whooshing” sound. Repeat the cycle three more times to find your anxiety and fear greatly diminished. Modify the hold (pause or kumbhaka) as needed for your health. Holding your breath is not recommended if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure.

Breath Counts – Exhale for Five

You might also try counting your breaths when fear takes over your mind. Breathe quietly and rhythmically. Count each breath on the exhale, starting over when you reach the number five. Continue for five or 10 minutes or until you feel less fearful. When we’re in the midst of a stressful situation, it’s natural to hold our breath. Did you know that this can actually increase our anxiety and make us feel even more fearful? That’s because when we hold our breath, we’re not getting the oxygen our body needs to function properly. This can lead to a feeling of lightheadedness or dizziness, which can make us feel even more fear. So next time you’re feeling fear, remember to breathe. Take slow, deep breaths and focus on each inhale and exhale. This will help your body to relax and ease your fear.


Diaphragmatic Breathing

When we’re afraid, our bodies go into fight-or-flight mode. This causes our heart rate and blood pressure to increase, our muscles to tense up, and our breathing to become shallow and rapid. Not only does this make it difficult to think clearly and make rational decisions, but it can also lead to physical problems like headaches, stomach pain, and insomnia. The good news is that there are some simple things we can do to help our bodies relax and release fear. One of the most important is diaphragmatic breathing. This is a technique in which you breathe deeply into your belly, rather than taking shallow breaths into your chest.

Diaphragmatic Breathing Benefits

Not only does diaphragmatic breathing help to oxygenate your blood and calm your nervous system, but it also has a direct effect on the way your body deals with fear. When you’re afraid, your body produces a stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol increases your heart rate and blood pressure, and it also suppresses your immune system. Diaphragmatic breathing helps to lower cortisol levels in the body, which in turn helps to reduce the physical symptoms of fear. It’s also a powerful tool for dealing with the psychological aspects of fear, such as anxiety and negative thinking. If you’re not used to diaphragmatic breathing, it may take a little practice to get the hang of it.



This meditation involves sitting quietly in a comfortable position. Breathe deeply and slowly, releasing all thoughts as they pass into your mind. Those suffering from fear can visualize fear, negativity, and anxiety leaving the body on each exhale. Imagine peace and confidence returning to the body with each inhale. Do not allow the mind to dwell on fearful or negative thoughts. Instead, think of uplifting thoughts while inhaling, such as, “I am confident and happy, and I can achieve my goals.”  A mantra given to you by your guru will also work to rid fearful thoughts from your mind.


Time for Change

Yoga can help to release fear and end the cycle of stress that can lead to poor health. Fear can cause physical reactions in the body that lead to tension, anxiety, and even depression. Yoga works to release fear by calming the mind and body. The practice of yoga helps to quiet the mind and bring about a state of inner peace. This inner peace helps to counter the effects of fear on the body, giving us the strength to face our fears and live a healthier life. Fear can rob you of a quality life, and, in some cases, it can take your life.  In the worst of times, we allow fear to control us, and we visualize worst-case scenarios.  On the other hand, yoga allows us to see reality and empowers us.


© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

Do you want to become a mindfulness meditation teacher?

Please visit the following link to see our selection of Yoga instructor courses and continuing education courses.

Click here to see our online Yoga Nidra teacher training course.

Are you an experienced teacher looking for YACEP credits or continuing education?

Subscribe to Our Newsletter for Special Discounts and New Products

Related Resources


52 Essential Principles of Yoga Philosophy to Deepen your Practice

by Rina Jakubowicz


A Relaxing Way to De-stress, Re-energize, and Find Balance

by: Gail Boorstein Grossman


by B.K.S. Iyengar

TEACHING YOGA: Essential Foundations and Techniques

By Mark Stephens

Related Studies

Amanda K. Cole, Tamera Pearson, Mary Knowlton, Comparing Aerobic Exercise with Yoga in Anxiety Reduction: An Integrative Review, Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 10.1080/01612840.2021.1965269, (1-6), (2021).

Amit Baumel, John Torous, Stav Edan, John M. Kane, There is a non-evidence-based app for that: A systematic review and mixed methods analysis of depression- and anxiety-related apps that incorporate unrecognized techniques, Journal of Affective Disorders, 10.1016/j.jad.2020.05.011, (2020).

Christopher Joyce, Eric J. Roseen, Julie J. Keysor, K. Douglas Gross, Larry Culpepper, Robert B. Saper, Can Yoga or Physical Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain Improve Depression and Anxiety Among Adults From a Racially Diverse, Low-Income Community? A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Controlled Trial, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 10.1016/j.apmr.2021.01.072, (2021).

Association between anxiety, depression, and quality of life: study protocol for a systematic review of evidence from longitudinal studies, Johanna Katharina Hohls et al., BMJ Open, 2019

Evaluating a group-based Yoga of Stress Resilience program: a pragmatic before–after interventional study protocol, Elizabeth Alvarez et al., BMJ Open, 2020

Related Research

Danielle C. Mathersul, Kamini Dixit, Timothy J. Avery, R. Jay Schulz-Heik, Jamie M. Zeitzer, Louise A. Mahoney, Rachael H. Cho, Peter J. Bayley, Heart rate and heart rate variability as outcomes and longitudinal moderators of treatment for pain across follow-up in Veterans with Gulf War illness, Life Sciences, 10.1016/j.lfs.2021.119604, 277, (119604), (2021).

Marco Maiello, Meredith J. Ward, Eric Bui, Mind–Body Treatments for Anxiety Disorders, Clinical Handbook of Anxiety Disorders, 10.1007/978-3-030-30687-8_14, (269-282), (2020).

Vladimir Trkulja, Hrvoje Barić, Current Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders: An Evidence-Based Review, Anxiety Disorders, 10.1007/978-981-32-9705-0_22, (415-449), (2020).

Gülyeter Erdoğan Yüce, Gamze Muz, Effect of yoga‐based physical activity on perceived stress, anxiety, and quality of life in young adults, Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 10.1111/ppc.12484, 56, 3, (697-704), (2020).

Danielle C Mathersul, Carla M Eising, Danielle D DeSouza, David Spiegel, Peter J Bayley, Brain and Physiological Markers of Autonomic Function Are Associated With Treatment-Related Improvements in Self-Reported Autonomic Dysfunction in Veterans With Gulf War Illness: An Exploratory Pilot Study, Global Advances in Health and Medicine, 10.1177/2164956120922812, 9, (216495612092281), (2020).

More Research

Gustav Jonsson, Lisa Franzén, Markus B.T. Nyström, Paul A. Davis, Integrating Yoga with Psychological Group-Treatment for Mixed Depression and Anxiety in Primary Healthcare: An Explorative Pilot Study, Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 10.1016/j.ctcp.2020.101250, (101250), (2020).

Kirti Saxena, Christopher D. Verrico, Johanna Saxena, Sherin Kurian, Stefanie Alexander, Ramandeep Singh Kahlon, Ruchir P. Arvind, Adam Goldberg, Nicholas DeVito, Mirza Baig, Anastasia Grieb, Jafar Bakhshaie, undefined Simonetti, Eric A. Storch, Laurel Williams, Lex Gillan, An Evaluation of Yoga and Meditation to Improve Attention, Hyperactivity, and Stress in High-School Students, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 10.1089/acm.2020.0126, (2020).

Naomi M. Simon, Stefan G. Hofmann, David Rosenfield, Susanne S. Hoeppner, Elizabeth A. Hoge, Eric Bui, Sat Bir S. Khalsa, Efficacy of Yoga vs. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy vs. Stress Education for the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, JAMA Psychiatry, 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.2496, (2020).

Mallory Marshall, McKenzie McClanahan, Sarah McArthur Warren, Rebecca Rogers, Christopher Ballmann, A Comparison of the Acute Effects of Different Forms of Yoga on Physiological and Psychological Stress: A Pilot Study, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 10.3390/ijerph17176090, 17, 17, (6090), (2020).

Chris Fradkin, Colleen E. Carney: Goodnight Mind for Teens: Skills to Help You Quiet Noisy Thoughts and Get the Sleep You Need, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 10.1007/s10964-020-01296-w, (2020).

More Studies

Efficacy of Yoga vs. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy vs. Stress Education for the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial
Naomi M. Simon et al., JAMA Psychiatry, 2021

Terese Kochuvilayil, Ritin S. Fernandez, Lorna J. Moxham, Heidi Lord, Albara Alomari, Leanne Hunt, Rebekkah Middleton, Elizabeth J. Halcomb, COVID‐19: Knowledge, anxiety, academic concerns and preventative behaviors among Australian and Indian undergraduate nursing students: A cross‐sectional study, Journal of Clinical Nursing, 10.1111/jocn.15634, 30, 5-6, (882-891), (2021).

Effects of Mindfulness Yoga vs. Stretching and Resistance Training Exercises on Anxiety and Depression for People With Parkinson Disease: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Jojo Y. Y. Kwok et al., JAMA Neurology, 2019.

Effects of yoga on depressive symptoms in people with mental disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Jacinta Brinsley et al., British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2020

See our testimonials to find out what our graduates have to say about teaching yoga sessions and our selection of inexpensive yoga instructor courses. To see our selection of Yoga teacher training and continuing education courses, please visit the following link.


2 thoughts on “Releasing Fear with Yoga”

Leave a Comment

Your Cart