Fear on the Mountain

In this week’s BLOG:

Pictures of the Colorado mountains, “Fear” blog writing, new downloadable yoga class, new yoga cd, teaching at Easton Yoga next weekend and new 2011/2012 schedule announcements!

These pictures are from Wolf Creek ski area in southwestern, CO – pictures don’t do this area justice. Its gorgeous!

A few local deer in the nearby neighborhood……….they’re taking over this yard

And of course Apollo and B Dog. They don’t seem to be having a hard time adjusting to the  altitude in the mountains for a couple of weeks.

Fear and Humility on the Mountain

Fear is an interesting thing……..what we fear, who we fear and our body’s response to it. I don’t think of myself as a very fearful person by nature, although some situations have proven me wrong in the last couple of years. I like to think that if I am in a situation where fear comes up, my instincts are quick, smart and steady. I’m humbled to say that this hasn’t always been the case while living and traveling on our sailboat BALANCE! It also isn’t the case for me  while skiing. I’m surprised by my fear out on the mountain. I love the terrain, the snow, the woods and the new challenge of being on the slopes, yet I’m surprised and humbled by the fact that when I get scared I freeze. This is what happened a few days ago as I was trying to get more speed through some powder, was feeling pretty good about my technique that day, then hit a slick spot, caught an edge and proceeded to slide in to a tree. Once I bounced off the first tree I slid right in to a second tree with the side of my leg. After jumping up and realizing that I was o.k. my first thought was, “This is why its important to wear helmets”. It happened so fast…..I think as I started to slide I instinctually closed my eyes and tucked my head down and somewhat froze. In retrospect I wish I had reacted faster and been able to steer myself away from the trees. I fall quite often while skiing, but usually it doesn’t involve hitting anything. I don’t mind falling so much but I do prefer that if it happens it doesn’t involve sliding on my side in to trees. I also prefer to not fall in front of other people. My tree accident was nearly directly under a chair lift so I had quite a few spectators. Yes, I was a bit embarrassed.

This skiing incident makes me think about fear. How do we react when we’re scared? What scares us and why? Do we tend to face our fears or not? Our instincts play an important role in fear. Our instincts kick in when we are in physical danger and that is good. But, how do we deal with other kinds of fear? I do believe that most of us stop when we feel fear creep in and simply stop trying something or don’t move through the fear once we think, “I’m not doing that because it scares me”. If we can go one step further and ask ourselves, “What am I actually scared of”? “What is the worst that can happen”? In my experience, what I’m scared of usually has to do with failing or not being good enough. When I realize that, I also realize that that isn’t a good enough excuse to not do something. It also points out to me that my fear is based around my own ego and that is something that I would like to squash! Again, our instincts that kick in when we are in danger and feel fear are great instincts to have – other times that we feel fear are often situations that we can grow and learn a lot from.

This talk of fear brings us to the topic of breathing and yoga. The simple repetition inside of “This, too, I can breathe through”, can get us through a lot. We learn through breathing through fear that we CAN deal with a lot, we CAN move through a lot……not by freezing, but by breathing through it and staying present in it. I personally need to remember this more on the water and on the mountain. Its all a work in progress as they say!

On a different note: I have a new downloadable class for sale on YogaVibes! Recorded last month at Exhale, Center for Sacred Movement. Please visit http://www.yogavibes.com, under the search function type in Jamie Elmer.

Also, a new intermediate level yoga CD for sale. Please e-mail me at jamie@firstrayyoga.com if you’re interested and I’ll send one out to you.

For my up-dated teaching schedule across the country and in London, please visit http://www.firstrayyoga.com. Included in the schedule are my dates for Los Angeles for the rest of 2011 and a great yoga retreat scheduled for Mexico in February, 2012.

This coming weekend I’ll be in Easton, PA (www.eastonyoga.com)

1st weekend in April, Yoga Gallery in Kansas City (www.yogallery.com)

2nd weekend in April, Greenville Yoga (www.greenvilleyoga.com)

3rd weekend in April, Triyoga (www.triyoga.co.uk)

4th weekend in April, Rasa Yoga Center, Medford/Ashland, OR (www.rasayogacenter.com)

Have a wonderful week.

I hope to see you soon.

Breathe deeply!


2 thoughts on “Fear on the Mountain

  1. Andree Santini

    Thanks for this reminder. I’ve been trying to make some decisions through the filters of what might be positive, negative, or best, and getting nowhere but uncertainty. I’m going to reevaluate through the filters of what am I scared of, what’s the worst case, and what’s the best case and see how that goes…Oh, and I think I won’t take up skiing.


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