It’s a bright and sunny Summer Tuesday morning. All in my house seems calm, but internally, my heart just can’t stop racing. My breath is short and my palms are sweaty. I’m nervous as hell. Having a full out fear and anxiety response, because today is THE day my book, Secrets of an Energized Mama, hits the marketplace.
Almost a year’s worth of work, is now available for the world to see, and I’m feeling the most vulnerable, raw, and fearful that I’ve ever felt before.
Whether you’ve launched a business or product, asked for a promotion, decided to have another baby or chosen to leave a relationship we’ve all experienced fear and anxiety before.
That feeling of butterflies in our stomach, the knot in our belly and the tightness in our chest. These feelings are a totally normal physical response to a perceived threat. Even though it makes us feel terrible. The good news is we can use our yoga practice to help us manage shaking hands, nauseous feelings we experience when fear rears its ugly head.
The truth is, if you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you’ve probably already had experience using yoga to manage your stress. But in this post we’re going to go deeper into three of the more subtle aspects of yoga (things that don’t require a mat) that have helped me manage my fear and anxiety and I hope they will help you too.
Fear Crushing Yogic Principle # 1: Svadhyaya
This principle is found in step 2 of the 8-step yogic system and translates to self-study. In the Yoga sutures Svadhyaya is your practice in studying Truth. You can study Truth by reading sacred texts, like the bible, Koran or yoga sutras. You can also study Truth by going to church or some other spiritual community. Finally you can practice Svadhyaya by studying the inner workings of your Self. And this is when this practice becomes super powerful.
When it comes to crushing your mom fears, practice self-study by asking yourself empowering questions. Questions like: “What am I really afraid of?” “What’s the worst thing that could happen in this situation?” “What will that say about me if the worst case scenario happens?”
Almost always when we continue to question our fears and anxiety and go deeper and deeper towards our inner truth, we come to realize two sacred Truths.
The first is that, you are already whole and enough just the way you are.
The second is that you are already in possession of what you are seeking.
So if you are afraid to ask for a promotion to prove to yourself that you are capable and a rock star in your field, self-study leads us to recognize that we are already a rock star. That we are already who and sufficient even without the promotion, so there is nothing that can be taken away from us if we don’t get it. Makes sense?
So to overcome your fears and anxiety the first yogic step is to study yourself, so that you re-member that you are whole, enough and have everything you’re seeking already.
Fear Crushing Yogic Principle #2: Ishvara Prandhana
This next yogic principle also come from step number two of yoga’s eight-step system and it translates to Surrender to Self or the Divine.
Let me ask you a question to demonstrate this point.
If you had to plan a huge, top-notch party and invite 1000 of your closest friends in only one weeks time, which scenario would make you feel MORE stress?
A). If you had to plan the party all by yourself with zero help? Or B). If you could hire a rock star event planner to do all of the work for you? Clearly you would feel more stressed if you had to do it all on your own.
And this is what the yogic principle of surrender helps us over come. Ishvara Pranidhana helps us remember that there is nothing random happening in the Universe. That all things in nature live, evolve and grow with the least effort. Grass doesn’t make a plan of how tall its going to grow in the Spring. And nobody’s sitting at the helm of the Earth steering it around the sun every year, or rotating it on its axis every day. These processes just unfold in perfect order, and YOUR LIFE is no different.
Your life is a small universe inside the Great Universe and also works by means of the same law of least effort.
So practicing self-surrender, helps us move through fear and anxiety by reminding us that all things are always working out, even when we can’t see the details of it in our lives.
Fear Crushing Yogic Principe #3: Pratyahara
This final yogic principle comes from step number five in the yogic system and it translates to sense withdrawal. In my book, Secrets of an Energized Mama, I dedicate a whole topic to this subject and playfully call it “The art of giving everybody the middle finger and taking care of YOU.”
In the context of a yoga class, we practice pratyahara by doing our postures in a dimly lit, quiet room, so that we are bombarded with visual and auditory distractions. When we’re off the mat and in fear we practice sense withdrawal by shutting out the noise (opinions, actions, believes) of others who’s message does not resonate with who we know ourselves to be.
So now we come full circle. We’ve studied ourselves, so we know who we are. We’ve let go of the helm of our own universe because we know all is working out. And now we can shut out the people who tell you you’re not good enough, smart enough, whatever enough. This may mean tuning out social media. Or turning of the news. Just to make sure that those opinions from outsiders are not stoking the fear that you’ve worked so hard to squelch.
There you have it mama! You’re now ready to go after anything that scares you! That promotion. That business. That new baby. That new Life. Using these three simple yogic principles to move through your fear and into your greatest mom life ever!
Are you looking for more ways to deepen your yoga practice and use yogic principles to create a more peaceful, energized and joy-filled mom life?
Then check out my book Secrets of an Energized Mama and learn how the full yogic system can help you create the ease-filled life you deserve.