The concept of finding courage comes with many layers, because to ‘find courage’ implies that there is first an element of fear or a challenge to over come.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” ~ Neale Donald Walsch

Life has a funny way of keeping us contained within the limits of our safe zone or ‘comfort zone.’ Sometimes, what we think is a physical limitation is often a restriction our mind places on us.  We are masters of coming up with justifiable reasons why we do what we do. Why we don’t pursue that dream, why we should stick to the norm, why we don’t have time.

Part of facing our fears or finding the courage to move through a challenge comes from first believing that it’s possible. Finding courage is as much about mastering the mind as it is about mastering the body. Sometimes it’s fear of the unknown, other times it’s simply no believing that we can step outside ‘our norm’.

Stepping onto the mat for many means stepping into the unknown. For regular practitioners of yoga, it’s often easy to forget that for some people stepping onto the yoga mat doesn’t just mean trying poses that are unfamiliar, often it means moving the body in ways that they are not accustomed. When the body is limited to repetitive movements over a long period of time, the mind has a way of making us believe that the body no longer moves in any other way.

Yoga is as much about quietening the monkey mind of its incessant ‘I can’t’, as it is about educating the body with ‘I can’. Whilst the mind is not always an easy thing to control, when you start to feel negativity creep in, always come back to your breath.

When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace.

Ask yourself why it is that you get nervous before an interview or at the thought of speaking in front of a crowd. You know you can speak, you do it every day, but at the thought of being put on the spot we suddenly lose confidence in our own ability. Instead we create a world of ‘what ifs’ in the mind. What if I stumble, what if I forget, what if people don’t like me.

‘What if’s; can be powerful when they are positive, they drive us towards our dreams, but when they are negative they can instil fear. What is one way we can move through our fear and find courage? Turn your ‘what if’ upside down. Rather than asking yourself ‘what if I’m no good’, ask yourself ‘what if I’m awesome’. Changes the mood immediately doesn’t it?!

So when was the last time you took a chance, on or off your mat?

On your mat.

Perhaps you could try something new this month. Explore a pose or style that you’ve always been curious about but never had the courage to pursue. Workshops are a wonderful way of exploring your practice further, or perhaps talking to your teacher after class about how to take that next step. Experience the body in ways you haven’t allowed yourself before, you’ll be amazed what you might discover.

Off the mat.

Start the business of living your dreams. Plan that trip, try that new hobby, give that person a chance. Be open to finding love in your life, be courageous enough to forgive past hurts. Experience the freedom of taking a chance and finding the courage to move through your challenges and fears. Stop

The thought of trying something new, different or pursuing a dream can be very scary and uncomfortable, but until you find the courage to face your fears you’ll never move any further ahead.

‘Courage’ is your power.

This month focus on your ability to find courage in yourself and in life. Set yourself up with a positive affirmation, which could be one for the month or a different positive statement each week or day. We just encourage you to keep it consistently on the theme of ‘Courage’. An example is ‘I am dynamic and full of energy and passionate about what I do’

Explore and create your own.

We look forward to seeing you on the mat this month where our teachers will weave our theme of ‘courage is my power’ into their classes and teachings.

Sweat, stretch & smile!
Team Kula

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About the author: Andy is a qualified Yoga Therapist & Teacher. She is Communications Manager at Kula Yoga, co-founder of YogaMamas and runs her own small Yoga Therapy business on the Bellarine Peninsula. Andy is also a health & wellness blogger, hobby photographer and mama of 3!
Photo credit: Kula teacher Lara Stoll by Andybbear Photography

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Detoxify & energise with Hot Yoga. Tone & sculpt with Power Flow. Strengthen & stretch with Basics and Slow Flow. Relax & mobilise with Yin Yoga at our beautiful studios in Hawthorn & Hampton, Melbourne. We also offer Prenatal & Postnatal yoga classes and Yoga With Baby.

Our studios also host regular workshops, Victorian and overseas retreats to exotic places like Bali, Thailand & India, as well as a mobile yoga service for community, school and corporate groups. Kula Yoga is the largest studio in the Hawthorn & Hampton areas offering collectively almost 70 classes, 7 days a week. Enjoy modern facilities, expert teachers and a range of complementary wellness services for optimal health.

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