There’s nothing scarier than uncertainty. FACT!
Sometimes it’s the not knowing what to expect we fear, rather than the actual thing. For me, it’s not the job interview I have prepared for, but whether I will actually find a parking space on the day!
Fear can change the path of our lives, we can actively avoid doing something (like avoiding reverse parking for the first seven years after passing your driving test – yep that was me!) and in doing so actively change the pattern of who we become because we are scared… I was always ‘not very good at parking’, ‘not a confident driver’, ‘not able to do that’ – all because I never faced my fears and gave it a go.
And sometimes when we avoid facing our fears, we can start to anger ourselves – we get frustrated by the limitations we put on ourselves, we start asking why am I so afraid? Or why does it not bother that person? And then maybe we start to resent ourselves and perhaps others… we become bitter, full of resent, angry and sad.
And then my friends? Like Yoda said, then we start on the path to the dark side.
Inversions (going upside down) teach us to do this because they cause uncertainty: uncertainty about our surroundings, our body position in relation to space, our ability to sustain a posture that is unnatural and awkward, and, the complete fear of falling.
And like anything, the first step in finding success in an inversion posture is to come to your breath.
A steady breath leads to a steady mind, and vice versa – when the mind is full of worry (conscious or unconscious), the breath is restricted, and inversions and balancing postures are more difficult.
So we can’t do an inversion, something we might fear, without first finding and focusing on our breath. In the same way, we can’t release ourselves from fear without calming our nervous system with deep breaths in preparation of taking on the task in hand.
Yoda was (obviously) right – fear does lead to anger, anger does lead to hate, and that does lead to the dark side.
But he was right about something else too, that by using the force, the vital life force that we call the breath – our pranic energy – we can control our emotions, find courage and strength and train ourselves to let go of everything we fear to lose.