By 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.
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.
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.
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