Tips to Relieve Nerves & Gain Confidence

There are many areas where students at the Yoga Art Space Studio & Mantis Kung Fu Academy may experience a great amount of fear. For instance, after gaining a strong foundation, students attending Kung Fu will eventually experience an amount of sparring or being thrown. Students attending yoga classes may eventually be asked to go into inversions where the head is below the level of the heart and the weight of the body is balancing upright (such as a headstand, a forearm stand, or a handstand). Likewise, as we will shortly be adding Aerial Yoga onto our schedule, there will be times when we hang upside down and let go of the hammock with our hands, free floating above the ground. Any of these situations may enduce an element of fear because the body is not used to being in those situations. This is not to mention any of the millions of scenarios outside of our studio which may cause our nerves to pique. Today we will discuss a few tips that anyone can use to calm these nerves and to gain confidence.

Tip #1: Don't Forget to Breathe!

There are few differences in the body between the reaction of fear and the reaction of excitement. However, one of the main differences is in the breath. Namely, when we are afraid, we suck in a quick gasp of air and then hold it vs. when we are excited we keep on breathing. By continuing to breathe through the fear, we can trick our bodies into thinking we are actually excited.

One other tip here is that when the exhales are longer than the inhales, the relaxation response is naturally induced in the body. This is the breath that we take on naturally as we are falling asleep. The thing is that you can bring this breath into your body at any time to allow the body to relax when you're stressed. All you have to do is consciously take a deep breath in and then allow the outbreath to be even longer and fuller. Inhale for about 4 counts and then exhale for about 6 counts.

Tip #2: Try Repeating Positive Affirmations

Realize that our thoughts are creating our nerves. We can nip the thoughts at the bud by repeating positive affirmations when the negative thoughts arise (or at any time, really). A few affirmations we recommend are: "I alm calm. I am confident. I am loved. I am safe."