Just Stay In The Room—What Hot Yoga Taught Me About Facing My Fear.

Via Tara Lemieux
on Jun 1, 2013
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“A further sign of health is that we don’t become undone by fear and trembling, but we take it as a message that it’s time to stop struggling and look directly at what’s threatening us.” —Pema Chödrön, The Places that Scare You 

I remember my very first hot yoga class. I was in shape, and had not yet faced the physical limitations that would manifest over that next year—an intrusion that would forever reshape my context of life and of living.

In the months following, I would watch each day as bits and pieces of my own mobility crumbled and faded. And, try as I might to grasp firmly on—there was just no way to keep those pieces of me from slipping through.

Walking through a hallway alone, I found myself reaching with one hand to the wall—in a desperate hope to gain some stability.

It’s true, you know, what they say—you never quite know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Isn’t it ironic how the absence of presence can become so profound?

Fear is a funny thing, you see. Like rising waters, it will claim any space left open for filling. And in its wake, Fear leaves a panicked desperation—an emotional drowning determined to drag all of our hopes and dreams down with it.

For me, my greatest fear has always been the unknown.

And each time I felt Fear’s pace closing in—like a child, afraid of the dark, I squeezed my eyes tightly and hid….counting the moments, when the sunlight would break through the window again.

Fear is just like this—capturing us in the middle of our darkest nights, creating worries for things that may not ever appear.

I let my fear keep me from those things that mattered most of all…those very things that made my life worth living.

I thought back to that very yoga class, where I sat in a puddle of my very own sweat…heaving and gasping to my nearly last breath. And my dearest teacher, noting my distress…leaned in and whispered something I shall never forget,

“Tara, my dear—breathe gently, and just simply stay in this room.”

When facing fear, our instinct is always to do—but sometimes, the best thing is to simply just ‘stay in that room.’

To be still, to sit with our fears—to accept, without the need for doing. In our stillness, we soften…and we learn to let go. And in doing so, we’ll feel fear’s grip loosening, too.

You see, “nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know..

And when it does, I promise, you won’t be so very afraid of that room.

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About Tara Lemieux

Tara Lemieux is a mindful wanderer, and faithful stargazer. She is an ardent explorer and lover of finding things previously undiscovered (or, at the very least, mostly not-uncovered.) When she’s not writing, you can find her walking in the woods and sometimes changing the way we look at things, one simple moment at a time. You can contact her at via her website Mindfully Musing or, take one second to "LIKE" her on Facebook at Tara's Facebook Page. Or email her directly at [email protected]. All roads will lead to one home, and rest assured she (and Nudnick, the wonder dog) would LOVE to hear from you.


6 Responses to “Just Stay In The Room—What Hot Yoga Taught Me About Facing My Fear.”

  1. SaraCrolick says:

    My teacher often tells us, "the only way out is through." So simple, but these words have helped me through many hot yoga classes and many more moments off of my mat. Thank you for sharing, Tara.

  2. Tara Lemieux says:

    Thank you, Sara ~ and yes, that is so true. I once knew a woman who traveled the world, and in each city she would take the time to drop into the local yoga studio. She said that in doing so, it helped her to connect and to learn.

  3. Anne says:

    Thank you for this, Tara. Beautifully written. I’ve been in that hot room. Lots of times.

  4. Irene says:

    So true! Thank you for this reminder.

  5. Tara Lemieux says:

    Thank you, Anne ~ <3

  6. Tara Lemieux says:

    Irene, you're most welcome – I'm glad you enjoyed…namaste, and much love this day.. <3