Life’s Headstand, by Sinead O’Connor
Life recently has been a whole load of excitement and fear. Falling on my feet with the fabulous premises for Hush Yoga has been a rush of thrills and emotions. The challenge keeps me on my toes and more focused than I have ever been before. Although I have to admit along with the buzz of finally stepping into something I have always wanted to do comes the dreaded fear; The risk, the recession, the low numbers in yoga classes across Dublin, the competition of the longer standing studios, my own abilities as a studio owner/ manager, the lack of “business skills” I feel I hold. My mind seams to be a fickle as always, one moment in complete exhilaration and trust in what am doing to the next being completely paralyzed by a moment of fear.
I’ve been thinking a lot about fear in past week in relation to our yoga practice. When yoga students are faced with headstand for the very first time, I often see them trembling as they try to kick upside-down against the wall. Some can’t get past putting their heads on the floor in fear of what may happen to them. I let them know it’s only fear and say things such as; “Fear is our challenge, it’s there to help us grow. You have to move into your fear to move beyond it. Before you know it, headstand will be the easiest pose to hold. Once you get up there and find the balance it holds itself effortlessly”.
Facing fear on a yoga mat is a preparation for facing any type of fear really. If you continue to attempt headstands week after week the posture will become a challenge you look forward to instead of a fear you are avoiding. You will begin to approach this pose with determination and strength. Once you get to that point in a headstand practice the fear dissipates. Whether you ever become fully comfortable in the headstand is not the point. The point is the same fear you had when you faced headstand for the very first time will no longer exist. There may be some fear still there but I can guarantee you it will have changed. What that shows is that change is possible in anything… The fear you now may have will therefore move on and change into something else…. Knowing this knows trust… When we get to this point the chances are more likely that you will get to a point of being in a headstand, holding it effortlessly, in complete trust.
Thinking about the fear of headstand really helped me last week when I was going through a moment of panic. I know the only way to move beyond fear it is to step into it therefore the new venture of running hush yoga is my current fear. I sometimes feel like running away from it all. After all my reason for being a yoga teacher was to live a life of freedom without stress not one of worry and concern of how to build up a yoga studio. However running away from my hearts desire of running a yoga studio would be a foolish missed opportunity to grow. After all the universe only throws you what you are able for and will continue to bring you into the same situations until you have faced life’s headstand, learned the lesson and move beyond your limitation. I trust that some day I will be able to hold Hush Yoga just like a headstand. While it will always take a little bit of work to get into the poise of my business I know some day the foundation will be so strong it will be able to hold itself effortlessly…
We all have our life’s headstand to face. Being aware of this is being in yoga and is one of the beauties of the yoga practice. Yoga moves us beyond our limitations by constantly teaching us awareness. Firstly awareness of the body, then the mind (in this case fear) and finally the soul… Be aware and be in trust. You too can move out of your fear into your liberation and hold life’s headstand.
Tips for facing any kind of fear on and off the yoga mat:
- Label it. Know your fear.
- Get out of your head and into your body, feel your body’s sensations and become aware of your breath. Simply feel the sensations be it your heart pounding, your stomach quivering or whatever, simply feel it and feel your breath, don’t try to change it. It will change itself in a very short time.
- Know what ever you are thinking in your head is about to change as everything changes. The more you become aware of the fickleness of the mind the less you will attach to what’s going on in your mind.
- Fear can only win over you if you feed it therefore try to overcome it by telling yourself in that moment of fear that this is only fear in the knowing that fear is only a very small part of who you are, it is not you in your entirety.