Transforming Fear to Joy

Discovery, not performance, is the aim in yoga, and what we are seeking to discover is ease, stability, and freedom.  The mind becomes suddenly clear when the body can respond to any action taken with ease, stability and freedom.

When we are not responding with ease, we are reacting from our mental-emotional afflictions – our klesas.  The five klesas – avidya, asmita, raga, dvesa, and abbinivesa are all fear-based and exist in the Manomaya Kosha.

Avidya is the fear borne of ignorance. Asmita is the fear, the ego has, of losing decision-making power
or things it has become attached to. Raga erupts when we are afraid we will not experience a certain
pleasure again, while dvesa manifests from being afraid we will endure a painful event again.
Abbinivesa is the deepest fear of death.
Nicolai Bachman, The Path of the Yoga Sutras

Yoga’s warrior poses are intended to strengthen our inner ability (courage) so we can overcome ego (fear) and ignorance. We are all on a wisdom journey. We are all spirits learning how to be the best humans possible. To deepen your wisdom journey, practice the following three yoga actions in Virabhadrasana I. Click on the audio file below for my verbal instructions.

Yoga Action (Annamaya Kosha):
– rotate the breast bone (not necessarily the pelvis) to look out over the bent leg

Yoga Action (Pranamaya Kosha):

– draw the bottom ribs (L & R sides) in & down toward the L & R sides of the sacrum & tailbone. Feel the energetic connection between these points as well as the lifting mula bandha.

Yoga Action (Manomaya Kosha):
– rest in the pose by silently repeating to yourself  “ease, stability, freedom”

NOTE: It may take more than one pose before you awaken these yoga actions or areas in your body and begin to feel the arising sensations. In that case, apply the three yoga actions to the following poses –

LO LUNGES with raised arms
HI LUNGES with raised arms
1) Back heel up
2) Back heel down

For more asanas, sequences, and yoga actions, click here.


Picture of Author: Helen Maupin

Author: Helen Maupin

Helen is passionate about transforming fear into love — from her, for her, for all. She expresses her commitment to transformation through writing poetry, self-awareness and yoga books, co-designing organizations into adaptive enterprises and deepening her daily meditation and yoga practices.


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