One thing I see a lot of students carry into class is fear. It goes by other names too: stress, tension, anxiety, worry, but it’s all the same emotion – fear. We live in a culture where we are encouraged to fear. The media tells us to worry about terrorism, the economy, the environment, the next election. We hear a lot of sad stories in the news, and not very many happy ones. We also have personal fears related to work, family, success, love… we feel like we have so much to lose and our hands are so small we can hardly hold what we have.
Perpetual fear can poison our lives and prevent us from seeing the blessings we have. Bikram yoga is a powerful tool to help calm our minds and be in the moment, but we need to be aware of our emotions outside the studio too. Yoga Journal has a good article on Facing Fear, and I particularly like the conclusion:
As long as you are alive, you will feel fear. It is an intrinsic part of your world, as natural as a bitter cold winter day or the winds that rip branches off trees. If you resist it or push it aside, you miss a powerful opportunity for healing and freedom. When you face your fears with mindfulness and compassion, you begin to realize the loving and luminous awareness that, like the ocean, can hold the moving waves. This boundless presence is your true refuge—you are coming home to the vastness of your own awakened heart.