In the Spring and Fall I mix it up a little and teach yoga to 3rd-5th graders at my son’s school. Their practice is different from the adult classes I teach in many ways. Mostly it is hard to discern who the teacher is and who the students are as they love to take charge. They also approach the postures with a completely open mind. They have no fear. No fear of falling. No fear of what their yoga looks like to the other kids.
I don’t know about you but I become a bit anxious when my teacher says “Let’s try handstands today.” Or better yet “Everyone grab a partner.” The fact is that this fear, this hesitation is what is holding me back on and off my mat.
Recently fear has stared me in the face. And I had to make some pretty serious decisions about my long term health and well being. It took two weeks, three medical opinions and a weekend away for me to realize that I was making my health care decisions based solely on fear.
We all are frightened at some time in our lives. Those of you with kids know that we will be frightened for the rest of our lives! Seriously, it is impossible to expect that we will never be afraid. The point is to not let fear overcome you.
When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer I was always worried that people would view me as a coward if I cried. My good friend and fellow teacher Coleen said to me “Courage doesn’t mean we are absent of fear. Courage is continuing on despite our fears and rising above them.”
Today marks the eleventh day I am a cancer survivor. Some days I feel stronger than the day before. And some days the fear creeps in. But I refuse to let it overcome me, to hold me back. Whether I am attempting sirsasana in the middle of the room or letting my son walk home from camp. Fear will no longer take charge.
What will you do today that scares you?