Notes on Fear & Courage

Notes on Fear & Courage

Notes on Fear & Courage

Last night I had the opportunity to teach a yin class that was centered around moving from fear to courage.  After class a few people asked for quotes from class or where I gleaned different information.  My information comes mostly from training in Insight Yoga and Meditation with Sarah and Ty Powers.  I have spent the last three years studying with them both.  The tools I have learned from them are now part of my everyday life and understanding of the world.  Below are my notes.


We can tolerate anything within the realm of human experience as long as we have support.   If we create challenging situations that we survive, then we begin to assume the future will be brighter.  What we assume, we become.

  • fear- an unpleasant emotion cause by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat
  • fear can range from trepidation and dismay to alarm, horror and panic
  • in the brain, perception and imagination are stored in the same place-the threat we feel can be perceived or imagined
  • when we operate in fear (due to perceived or real threat), we are in fight or flight and the sympathetic nervous system is activated
  • sympathetic nervous system- flooded with stress hormones (adrenalin and cortisol)
  • what we want to do is move into parasympathetic response- heart rate slows, respiration deepens, healthy digestion of food and experience
  • we can use yin yoga (practices of stillness) to find a way out of our habituated fear response
  • yin- non-rhythmic activity, psychologically difficult, teaches us to yield or surrender, teaches us deep listening
  • practicing yin kidney sequence helps let go of fear, holding on, lack of will power; increases openness, gentleness, intrinsic wisdom so we are not hardened by fear
  • use mindfulness practices in the yin poses to heal
  • 3 principles of mindfulness we will look at today: full capacity of acceptance (difficulty becomes the path), develop an inner temple, shift in identification / constructs of who we think we are

Animals live from fear.  Our job / growth is to change fear to love and kindness.  ~Sri Svar


Elizabeth Delaney