We have been thinking about courage, what this means to us and our work. To us courage means finding strength and groundedness in the storm, finding steadiness when life throws curve balls or you when you are moving out of your comfort zone into a place of vulnerability, where the outcome is not guaranteed.
‘Vulnerability is not about winning its not about losing its having the courage to show up when you can’t control the outcome’ Brene Brown
So, the path of courage is not heading towards something that is known, but in a direction that aligns with what is meaningful, important and valued. Pema Chodron, a Buddhist nun has much wisdom on this topic and shares that it is not about living a life without fear or blocking it out, but it is to get to know the nature of fear, move closer towards it, smile at it and discover that this is in fact the journey to courage. This is a call to learn to be present with the tricky stuff and learn ways to tolerate this.
Often the automatic response in the presence of fear is to run, avoid or blame ourselves and others. As we understand the nature of fear we can see that this is how we are designed to react, as a protection. With this wisdom we can start to notice and understand that this is not our fault and we can learn to slow things down a little so that we can respond rather than react with courage and tender hearted bravery.
How do we explore courage in our yoga practice? Courage and vulnerability go hand in hand, we may find moments of feeling vulnerable in our physical yoga practice. This could be as we are in stillness, wobbling in a balance, struggling to connect with our strength or when we come to the mat with tricky emotions. This is when we can explore courage, by noticing and acknowledging when this stuff shows up, because it will. To explore yoga we have to explore our vulnerability. To help us to do this we can use the body and the breath as anchors, finding steadiness to be with our vulnerability. This is a practice not a destination, we can edge in and edge out of the experience, knowing that some days that will be possible and some days it won’t.
‘Courage is a measure of our heartfelt participation with life, with another, with a community, a work; a future’ (Courage - David Whtye).
Courage comes from and expands from the heart. It is finding our wisdom, our truth that will support us in finding practices that will build this resource to move from this place.
Join us on 4th November 2023 for an extended practice in Luton - Moving Courageously from the Heart. www.reconnectyoga.co.uk/events