Transforming Fear to Joy

Restorative Yoga for Forgetting and Remembering

I recently read The Yield by Tara Winch, in which she explored the “trauma of remembering and forgetting.” The book’s protagonist battled two challenges — what she refused to forget and what she endeavored, no matter how difficult, to remember. These two challenges set me to thinking about my own choices around forgetting and remembering, and how these choices have everything to do with who I am becoming.

As an example, when I choose to not forget a hurtful statement or action from a friend, but instead bury it inside and convince myself that s/he is not a true friend, my judgment is belittling both of us. To belittle anyone by making them less, also makes me less. Pointing a belittling finger at another person is merely a projection of who we are, which is why judging ourselves or others as unworthy is truly something to forget or stop doing, no matter how difficult it is to change this habit. Rather than judging, I now endeavor to remember Amor Towles quote below.

By their very nature, human beings are so capricious, so complex, so delightfully contradictory, that they deserve not only our consideration but our reconsideration—and our unwavering determination to withhold our opinion until we have engaged with them in every possible setting at every possible hour. Amor Towles, A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel

This new ad by Heineken is such a wonderful illustration of the truth within Towles’ statement. It brings tears of joy to my eyes whenever I watch it.


Life’s journey reveals to us moment-by-moment, who we are and who we are becoming. In this process of discovery, we see that our uniqueness is nothing as superficial as the color of our skin or our attitudes. What differentiates us is so much deeper than race and culture.  When we awaken to our essence, our true nature, we discover that fear is the only divide to be crossed, conquered and forgotten. Use the restorative sequence below to contemplate what fears you would like to forget and what loving acts you would like to remember. Here’s something to remember – when we can be with our own thoughts in silence, we avoid insanity.

1. As you settle into the first pose, ask yourself, “What fear do I need to forget?”
2. As you settle into the second pose, ask yourself, “What loving act do I need to remember and repeat?”
3. With each pose after, continue to alternate the two questions.

SUPTA BADDHA KONASANA (Supine Bound Angle Pose) 5 minutes
– Horizontal bolster behind rib cage; armpits are free of bolster
– Belt legs or support outer thighs; support under head

SUPTA VIRASANA (Supine Hero Pose) 3 – 5 m
– Vertical bolster or 2 blocks behind back body to support rib cage & head

SUPTA SUKHASANA (Supine Easy Pose)
1) Vertical bolster under spine & head 2 m
2) Head on bolster; hands clasped under bolster 3 m ea
– change leg crossing half-way through

3) Arms extended straight; hands under bolster 3 m ea

SUPTA PADANGUSTHASANA I, II, III (Supine Hand to Big Toe Pose) 10-15 breaths ea

SALAMBA ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA (Supported Down Dog Pose) 3 m ea
– Bolster on chair supports front of spine
– Toe mounds on blocks; heels into wall
– Chair back into quadriceps not pubic bone

1) Fingertips on floor

2) Elbows clasped; weight off hands

SALAMBA UTTANASANA (Supported Forward Bend) 3 m
– Sit bones into wall; crown of head on blocks

SALAMBA SETU BANDHA (Supported Bridge Pose) 3 – 5 m
– two double-folded blankets under shoulders
– two blocks–1 low height; 1 high height

VIPARITA KARANI (Leg Up the Wall Pose) 12+ m
– belt mid-thighs
– first 12 minutes are for relaxation & release
– after 12 minutes, the brain is rejuvenated

SAVASANA (Corpse Pose) 5 – 10 m
– Bolster on thighs

May your present moment experiences not be limited by your past fears. Namaste.

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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