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Practicing Fearlessness & 7 Headstand Variations

I was talking with a friend recently about how much power fear has over many of the decisions we make (or simply do not make…indecision is the worst). Often, we stay in situations for too long because we’re comfortable and/or afraid of change. Or we avoid pursuing a dream or passion because we fear change (or failure).

Last Sunday I decided to theme my yoga class around fear and finding fearlessness. I opened class with this quote.

Fear will show up EVERY time you’re growing or going where you dream of. 

I love this succinct and powerful statement. We all feel fear. It’s a normal part of human nature. The choice comes when you decide whether to use that fear to PROPEL you or PARALYZE you. I stood in front of  my students and told them that I could share at least 10 things I felt fear about at that very moment but I’m learning to drill down to the core of why I’m feeling the fear and to use it for propulsion and growth. (Key word…”learning.”)

Fight or flight?

I try to put the message to work somehow in the physical practice during class. Sunday we practiced fearlessness in inverting and backbending. We worked on new variations of headstand and I read them “7 Things Fear Has Stolen From You” as they performed their backbends, one backbend for each of the seven things.

There is so much power for students to find on the mat when they realize how much they are capable of when they let go of fear and begin to trust and believe in their strength and intuition. It’s amazing how much can shift by just changing your hand placement in a headstand and finding that you can balance and breathe through something that seemed impossible. Or by backbending more than you normally do, surrendering to it and experiencing the heart opening in a way that you previously have not by blasting through conceived limitations.

Today I’m sharing with you seven headstand variations, one for each of the things that fear has stolen from you. I highly encourage you to read this entire article!

1. Your True Path and Purpose. 

Headstand 8

Fear of being different.

2. Self-respect. 

Headstand 7

Fear of not being good enough.

3. Your ability to make concrete decisions. 

Headstand 6

Fear of commitment.

4. Priceless opportunities and life experiences. 

Headstand 5

Fear of change and discomfort.

5. General happiness and peace of mind. 

Headstand 4

Fear of facing inner truths.

6. Your willingness to love, truly and purely. 

Headstand 2

Fear of not being loved in return.

7. The right company. 

Headstand 1

Fear of being alone.

Headstands…love them or avoid them? Want to learn how to do them? Watch my headstand tutorial video (not sure why the video is fuzzy…it wasn’t at one point). 

Now go practice fearlessness in your own way!

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Sam @ Pancakewarriors October 7, 2014, 3:42 pm

    To have the list there is very humbling. I never think of my indecisiveness as fear but there it was on the list. I’ll be sharing this with a few people I think need the reminder to use what you fear to build you up instead of control you. Beautiful headstands by the way!

  • Andrea October 7, 2014, 4:46 pm

    Great post! And I love headstand, they make me feel like I can do anything!

  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine October 7, 2014, 4:55 pm

    I love this Jen! Handstands, forearm strands, and headstands are my favorite! They really show growth in my yoga practice and I constantly challenge my self to try different variations!

  • Jessica October 7, 2014, 4:57 pm

    I fear consistently practicing yoga because I know it will change my life. I went to a sports rehab doctor/chiropractor for a persistent back issue. She said I needed to do more yoga.

    Your post came at the right time for me.

  • Mo October 7, 2014, 9:05 pm

    Beautiful. I can trace every regret I have in life back to fear.

  • Jake Long October 8, 2014, 12:55 am

    Great article. I Didn’t know there were so many headstand variations. In my own workouts, I’m enjoying handstand training and it is exhilarating. I like the whole concept of conquering fears especially since I have feared handstands for a long time. It’s amazing how well I can progress with consistent training.

  • Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves October 8, 2014, 1:17 pm

    This is amazing! I’ve restricted from trying many things in my life— in fitness, school, faith, relationships— due to fear. Once I break through the barrier of fear though, I often find a pleasant surprise on the other side— growth, improvement, and peace.
    Your headstands are impeccable!

  • Callie October 8, 2014, 1:50 pm

    Love all of these! These posts are some of my favorites

    • Jen October 8, 2014, 1:53 pm

      thank you callie! i love writing them.

  • Amanda October 13, 2014, 2:12 pm

    I love this, Jenn. <3

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