Yoga, Travel & Conquering FEAR

So much of my previous life was spent controlling the known world and avoiding the rest. As you can imagine, I missed out on quite a bit. From my experience with fear, how it’s held me back, confined me to a box of my choosing and essentially kept me from living, I can express with full disclosure and truth now that its impetus and influence was entirely in my head. Our minds are complex, monumentally impressive specimens, but they deal with all that is known and can only merely speculate the unknown.

Somewhere along the way, we learn to fear what we do not know or understand, and for some of us, this results in hours stewing over hypothetical scenarios, seeing opportunities and rather than seizing them, answering with, “but what if?” This can take its toll, whether we’re aiming to conquer the big or small, a major dream for our lives, or a simple decision in opening ourselves to new possibilities and people.

There are two gifts in life that not only positively challenged my mind, body and heart, but were huge portals into acknowledging my fears and my patterns within them, moving past the unease attached to these fears, and ultimately conquering them. These gifts are Yoga and travel. Always yearning to explore, what travel taught me was the courage, resiliency and exuberance living in so many human beings, regardless of language or circumstance. Yoga helped me see these qualities within myself. We’re all capable of living openly, honestly and passionately, and the world is better off if we do so.

Teaching Yoga for many years, with a passport full of stamps, and a degree in Psychology contributing to my inquisitive mind, I’ve observed countless fears and phobias within myself and others along this quest. Fear of flying, heights, water, animals and insects, weather, untrustworthy human beings, being upside down, crowds, solitude, failure, success, and the vast stretch of possibilities in-between can keep us from branching out of our current status in life. We have no clue how many breaths we’ll take on this journey, but we better damn well make ‘em count.

Getting on that plane, jumping off that waterfall, taking a dive into the ocean, a walk through a dense forest, communicating with a stranger over a common language of hand gestures and laughter, falling out of a challenging pose and trying it again; these will all inform and inspire you to recognize your vast potential, and after each small feat, you’ll contemplate what you can do next. After over a decade since I began practicing Yoga, I can sincerely look back at many milestones on an off my mat; achieving poses I never thought possible, opening my heart to a capacity I could not fathom, and meeting some truly incredible people that influenced my life in immeasurable ways.

 

Whether you’re traveling to your mat, a studio, a new city or country, you’re open to exploring the unknown, learning about yourself, learning from others and the world around you. It is not cliche that you learn something new everyday, but the scope when delving into a Yoga practice, or immersing yourself in a new culture, is magnified and multiplied. In Yoga, we explore ourselves, riding the roller-coaster that is learning who we really are. Traveling provides the Yang to Yoga’s Yin. We balance by exploring within and without. Keep moving your body, opening your mind and exciting your heart. You’re worth the investment.

 

All About Danielle: Danielle Robinson is Never Not Hungry. A Yoga, travel, food, laughter and life enthusiast, Danielle lived, studied and traveled in Italy for 3 years, and then embarked on her teacher training in New York City with Sonic Yoga. Since, she’s lived and taught in Chicago, stretched, folded and chewed throughout the U.S., and now is thrilled to lend her passion as a writer and teacher to the Travel Yogi. She is stupefied to be alive and grateful to share the gift of Yoga to the world.

You can find Danielle at You, Me and Yoga Makes 3 on Facebook, @mastic8onthis on Twitter, and at danieatslife.com!