Helping Students Overcome Fears
Recently I taught a class where no one had ever attempted headstand before. This was such a treat because they all had been practicing for a good amount of time, but all shared a fear of inversions. I showed them how to get into the pose and then one by one, very safely, helped them each into the pose. The look of wonder and amazement on all of their faces was such a beautiful feeling. It is honestly such an amazing feeling to help students overcome their fears in poses. Inversions and back bends are probably tied for poses that stress students out the most. I’m talking headstand, pinch mayurasana, and handstand, or urdhva dhanurasana, king pigeon, and especially scorpion pose. These are deep poses and fairly advanced, so many practitioners are afraid to even tried them. Inversions are scary for people because you’re flipping your perspective and are far less stable, so there is a distinct possibility for injury, Back bends are scary for people because it’s very vulnerable, you’re quite literally putting your heart out there. So these poses can be scary and stressful, but when you’re assisted in a way where you feel safe and the pose feels accessible, it makes you feel like you can do it! When a student feels successful in a pose they were afraid to practice or even try, there is probably no better motivation or inspiration to grow in your asana practice. When you as a student realize that you can be safe in these poses, it’s the BEST way to overcome the fear of that pose. The honour and privilege to help students overcome fears in their practice is one of the many reasons that I LOVE teaching yoga!