Yoga Element #1 -Courage

Yoga Element #1 -Courage

“Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.”

~Raymond Lindquist

Element- A part or aspect of something that is essential. You mean like, breakfast is essential or sleep or water is essential for survival? These may be basic elements, however every outcome has elements to be successful. Courage was the #1 element that we discovered and integrated into our “Lifted Yoga” class this last week. This was helpful in pulling and holding things together with a strong muscular energy.
Service takes an element of courage. Finding and implementing what serves us best can truly be a challenge. Becoming selfish or self absorbed needs to be constantly under surveillance. There are also opportunities like a new situation or stepping out of our comfort zone’s that takes courage. These are often what produce a window into the possible or dark truths about ourselves. We have to be full of courage to look at the sometimes unpleasant parts of ourselves so we can transcend them.
I loved watching Billy Crystal on Saturday Night live when he talked about doing something completely bizarre, like sticking his finger in a spinning fan, and saying “I hate when I do that!” as his squealing voice was released with a crooked smile. We all cringe at some of our habits or behaviors that dominate. Yet I will encourage you to face them as we find them surface during our Hatha practice of yoga. Simply put our inner experience matches our physical experience.
Going a step further in service to ourselves is summed up in a quote by Marianne Williamson. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure”. If we treated ourselves and others from this understanding our world would be served greatly.

A delightful result of practicing this REAL look at ourselves is we will find the gems of our hearts are of precious quality. You are more beautiful, special and powerful than you ever thought possible! If we harness this to its purity, we will serve the other relationships in our life with amazing effectiveness. Including our service to our bodies. Practice often-look honestly with humor-and watch the brilliant light bounce off the beautiful gem of your heart.


Julie Branham

Please comment and share your thoughts on courage…

  • Kyle Clouse
    Posted at 16:20h, 18 October Reply

    Great post Julie! Two words that really caught my attention. Obviously “courage” but the second word that you used was “encourage”. When used in its proper form encouraging others is to motivate them to be courageous.

  • BJ
    Posted at 22:24h, 18 October Reply

    Hi Julie

    The quotation you used from Raymond Lindquist is not a definition of courage per se, but rather one of open-mindedness, curiosity even.

    I think you summed it up better than he- awareness of a challenge or even difficulty is the mental component of courage, the point being that harnessing that leads to benefit on and off the mat.

    good times

    • Kyle Clouse
      Posted at 16:48h, 19 October Reply

      I agree with BJ. Julie, you did sum this up better. It is through the refiners fire that we really find out what we are made of and where courage is fostered. Aimee Mullins is a powerful example of overcoming adversity.

  • Linda
    Posted at 07:15h, 22 October Reply

    courage: the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery. Or from the French derivative meaning “to live in your heart”. Great thoughts!

  • Sandi Howe
    Posted at 11:58h, 22 October Reply

    Thank you for your focus on courage this week. Something you said in class really clicked for me. You mentioned that we can combine the idea of courage with the niyama that states that we do no harm to anyone, including ourselves. I believe it does take a great amount of courage to leave those habits, thoughts, words, patterns, and behaviors behind which are harming ourselves and those around us. And sometimes it does take courage to serve ourselves so that we can serve others. Working on it!

  • Colleen D.
    Posted at 23:34h, 02 November Reply

    I couldn’t agree more. Without courage, there is no progress. You may exist, but you do not LIVE. I am happy that I mustered enough courage to begin yoga. It is making a wonderful change in my life. I’m not very good at it, but I have learned that it doesn’t matter; yoga works where ever you are, in fact, I think that is the whole point of it. Besides, it isn’t just for you. Becoming more self-aware, opens you to being more empathetic with others.

Post A Comment