I walked 2 km on a frozen lake today. About 1 km in I started experiencing thoughts like “what if the lake is not frozen”, “what if i fall in”, “maybe i should turn back”. These thoughts were making me so nervous that I was spending more time in my head than I was looking out to the incredible scenery. There were some other people out there too, they seemed to be having such a great time, it was sunny and the mountains looked amazing. I wished I could be carefree as they were but alas, I was plagued with these thoughts. Nevertheless I kept walking, I wanted to cross the lake to arrive at this beautiful frozen waterfall. I had set a goal and I didn’t want to quit. I started changing my thoughts into “what if the lake is frozen solid”, “what if nothing bad’s going to happen”, “what if I’m going to see something breathtaking”. I kept walking on the lake and step by step I was starting to feel more at ease and more able to soak in my surroundings. Reversing the anxiety thought loop was neutralizing my fear. I made it to the waterfall and my panic had subsided, I was just excited to be there amidst the awesome hills.
Anxious thoughts and feelings don’t have to paralyze us, they don’t have to make us turn back and avoid experiencing the beauty of life. We must carry on in spite of our efforts to self sabotage. Yoga teaches us to keep going. Warrior II pose, or Virabhadrasana II, increases our strength and stamina and teaches us to stay despite feelings of discomfort.
- Begin in a standing position with knees in line with hips and ankles in line with knees.
- Spread your legs 2-4 feet apart
- Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and your left foot in 45 degrees (right heel inline with arch of left foot).
- Shoulders and hips should be facing forward on the same plane as your legs.
- Tuck your tailbone under to avoid overarching your lower back.
- Raise your arms up to shoulder height with palms facing down.
- Release your shoulders away from your ears.
- Bend right knee until it is over your right ankle
- Gaze over right middle finger.
- Hold for 1 minute or longer
- Straighten right leg and release arms
- Repeat on the other side