Thursday, February 24, 2011

Finding Courage

Tomorrow I will be going into minor surgery.  Nothing major, just ripping those pesky, little wisdom teeth out of my jaw.  But with anything that requires me to go under the knife or be put to sleep, I get a bit uneasy.   All this week it has been in the back of my mind.  I am not one to let that nervousness or fear guide my life, so I knew I need to find a way to get through the week progressively.  Whenever I have to go through something that scares me, I make sure to prepare myself with enough courage, confidence, and mental stability.  My mental health is intimately related to my physical health.  And I can’t even think about spiritual health until I have my mind and body in sync.  If I am lazy, my mind is lazy.  If I deprive myself of sleep, my mind aches with fatigue.  Even before I started practicing yoga, I knew this about myself.  I believe most of us naturally act upon this desire to have mind and body on the same wave length.  How many times have you used swimming, weight lifting, or even dancing to clear your mind of unsettling thoughts?  If your mind is racing from thought to thought, does it help to sit still and simply observe your inhales and your exhales?
Before starting yoga I would do hard track workouts or challenging weight lifting in order to give my courage an extra boost.  The effect of pushing my body to see what it’s capable of transforms my mind to have the courage to take on things that frighten me.  The adrenalin pumping through my veins during a sprint is the same adrenalin that gets me through a terrifying public speech.   As I am growing and changing the kind of physical courage I need is also developing.  Some days running or lifting is perfect, but now I am also adding certain yoga moves that empower me.
In my body, nothing says strength and courage like a Warrior pose.  If you have heard almost nothing about yoga, I am sure the one thing you have heard about is the Warrior pose.  There are many kinds of warrior poses including: Warrior I, Warrior II, Warrior III, Reverse Warrior, and Balancing Warrior.  My favorites (shhhh don’t tell the others) are Warrior II and Balancing Warrior.  The power in all the Warrior poses resides in the strength of both your legs, but the magic in the pose comes in the arms.  In each Warrior pose the arms are extended out in some direction and (when done best) you can actually feel the energy and strength reaching from your toes through your fingertips.  Every muscle in your body is engaged except for your face, which exudes calm and confidence.
So this week as I am preparing myself for my little oral fiasco, I have fallen back on a Warrior series for confidence.  Look for upcoming blogs as I describe my favorite Warrior Series and how to do your best Warrior pose.  In the meantime, what sorts of things do you do to get over a fear or endure a nerve-racking experience?


  1. Good luck with the surgery, cousin!! Hopefully you'll still be as smart as you are now when it's all done (get it WISDOM teeth, haha, that was lame) :D love you

  2. Thanks! The surgery went well and I should be back to my usual self in no time. One thing good thing is that it's forcing me to come up with delicious soft food recipes :)