Dear Willow: Too Self Conscious to Start Yoga – Help!

Willow uses a fear of being new in yoga class as a stepping-stone for overcoming fear in our lives. Fear of being judged by others should never stop us from pursuing our goals and passions.

Dear Willow,

I really want to get involved in taking Yoga classes but I am feeling very insecure about not knowing the proper poses and don’t want to feel judged by others or the instructor…how do I get over this fear?

Thank you,

New and Nervous

Dear New and Nervous,

Great question! This is a very common question brand new and even long-time practitioners of yoga contemplate. This is also a question many people face when starting any new learning venture, whether in an exercise setting, running club, college class, new job, or new life pursuit.

Think back to when you learned how to drive a car. You may have experienced fear, as well as excitement. The compounded excitement helped you face and work with the fear to get what you wanted – freedom with driving a car!

There is more than one way to work through fear. Anthony Robbins’ teachings offer incredible opportunities to help people stretch through limiting beliefs and fears. Over the years, I’ve gone through Date With Destiny, Mastery University, and Business Mastery, and have catapulted myself through many fear-felt moments.

A more recent exercise I experienced was climbing a fifty-foot telephone pole, standing at the top of it, and jumping off. The climb and leaping was easy. It was an incredible challenge standing on top. When I had to stop a moment to reposition my body and figure out a way to get my feet on top, where there was nothing to hold onto, and pull myself up, it was all push and balance with sheer strength. I remember thoughts of “What would people think if I fell” and “If I don’t follow through, people will think less of me.” I realized how much I let my own thoughts of peoples’ perceptions limit my ability to do what I wanted to do.

In that realization, I let go. Not of the pole, but of the idea I had to do things perfectly for others to think highly of me. That was the only way I was going to get to my goal – and I did. My success was not for others, but because I pursued the challenge for myself.

Sound familiar?

If it does, check deeply into this pattern of thinking. It doesn’t have to keep you from doing what you are doing, but recognizing when it comes up is important to acknowledge.

Freedom from Fear Formula:

  1. Acknowledge fear, use the energy to move you forward.
  2. Remind yourself WHY you are venturing uncharted territory.
  3. Tell yourself encouraging words and that you CAN do it.
  4. See future results you will gain because of courageous action.
  5. Let go of thoughts or feeling as though others will judge you. Do it because it’s what YOU want to do, not because of what you think people will think about you.

Entering a yoga class setting is no different. You will learn new perspectives, language patterns, physical positions, exercises, techniques, and mental skills. These are all tools for long-term development and application. People often have a belief they must know about the exploration before it’s been experienced. This philosophy has been passed along through institutionalized learning by having students just listen and take the information as facts without having first-hand experience. When we experience knowledge, we build confidence and authenticity around the topic, thus, a greater ease ensues as we become part of the learning process instead of only thinking about it.

Follow the Freedom from Fear Formula and begin exploration today. Ask around your peers about a reputable yoga instructor and have them go over the basics in a private setting before going to a class. Just because we learn what we don’t know, doesn’t mean that not knowing should keep us from learning.



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