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« IN BRIEF »
FearlessYoga™ is an incubator of Yoga innovations.
The "Four Elements" of this mission are Explore, Inspire, Training, and Projects.
EXPLORE is an online resource library for the curious and for the serious seeker. It includes feature articles that extend the Training resources, complement posts within Inspire, and supplement selected Projects.
INSPIRE is a collection of feature articles, videos, reviews, and interviews that inspire, motivate, and invigorate the Yogic Life. An easy way to stay connected to Inspiring ideas is through the FearlessYoga Email Newsletter, the Social Hub, or connecting on your favorite Social Media platform.
TRAINING is a structured online curriculum of Yoga education. There are three available tracks. Training for Everyone is an introduction to Yoga for new students. Training for Yogis is a deep-dive into advanced topics like anatomy, Ayurveda, Yogic philosophy, and teaching methodologies. Training for Warriors explores the roots of Hatha Yoga at the intersection between classical Raja Yoga and the martial arts.
PROJECTS include the full spectrum of Yoga Innovations, from online courses and books, products and services, and tools and technologies. The Projects section contains previews of upcoming projects and reviews of completed projects, whether they originate with FearlessYoga or the global Yoga community. Completed projects can be purchased directly with the original creators or through the FearlessYoga shop.
About FearlessYoga: An Introduction
My family has the odd habit of repurposing lines from movies and TV shows in everyday life. For example, when someone is simply not understanding what they’re trying to say, my daughters are prone to mutter, “Negative, it didn’t go in; just impacted on the surface” – a famous line from the original Star Wars.* During Yoga Teacher Training, a different line came to mind.
The class had been doing a deep-dive into the Yoga Sutras, an ancient and difficult text that captures the essential ideas of classical Yoga. The text is hard to understand, sure, but as each student began to share their thoughts and reflections, they would inevitably burst into tears. Being one of only two guys in that session, I recalled a key scene in the baseball movie, “A League of Their Own,” where Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) yells at Evelyn Gardner (Bitty Schram), “There’s no crying in baseball!”
I had initially sat back on my mat and thought, “There’s no crying in Yoga!” But I was wrong.
What I was seeing was the perplexing, penetrating, and powerful way that Yoga was touching people’s very souls. This physical, intellectual, and spiritual journey we were on was excavating buried traumas, exposing raw physical pain, and striking suppressed emotional chords. That wasn’t in the brochure.
Students shared, sobbed, were supported, and finally smiled. There’s something cathartic about those moments when you find yourself laughing through your tears. As the aspiring yogis empathized and connected – as the tissues piled up – something unexpected was revealed. It’s not uncommon around Yoga studios to hear mention of that human “inner light,” but what we experienced that afternoon was the radiant light of courage.
Each of us sneaks out and buries our pain and abuse and trauma and fear in unmarked graves that we hope no one will ever find. We live our lives pretending it doesn’t exist, but those ghosts are still lurking in the shadows, waiting to haunt us. Until that is, we face our fears and shine that light into the darkness.
So first, Fearless is for all of us who have the courage to face what we're afraid of, to confront our pain, and come out stronger on the other side. Maybe with scar tissue, sure, but stronger just the same.
Where you’re going might not be where you end up.
Instructor Brett Larkin told our class that most people come to Yoga seeking relief from lower back pain. Some want to get fit, or lose weight, or find comfort in their bodies. Others are seeking stillness or focus to quiet their minds and banish the soul-crushing effects of daily stress. But for some, Yoga resonates at a spiritual level. These are the sadhakas – the seekers – those who are devoted to finding their ultimate purpose on this planet. And often they find their mission not at the peak of a mountain but just on the other side of their suffering.
In a follow-up email, Brett wrote, “Where you’re going might not be where you end up.” In the case of my personal Yoga Teacher Training this turned out to be true. When I signed up for the training, I had a nebulous idea for a Yoga class I wanted to teach. After getting my certificate, though, I realized I had ended up someplace different. The shared experiences with these amazing teachers and fellow students had illuminated a different path, and a new adventure had begun.
With the talent, tools, and skillsets from decades of experience in corporate marketing and advertising – and a triple passion for Yoga, technology incubators, and hackathons – I sketched out an idea for nurturing a different kind of innovation: developing an incubator for life-changing Yoga ideas.
The fledgling yoga teachers in my class had all expressed a wide variety of needs – for knowledge or tools or technologies – and had shared ideas, tips, and workarounds for common problems. In other words, we were helping each other meet a significant need in the world. And that was the third element in an important recipe.
Early in his book, Essentialism, author Greg Mckeown lays out the criteria for discovering your essential purpose – your mission in life. He asks that you find the intersecting answer to three questions: “What am I particularly talented at?” and “What do I feel deeply inspired by?” and “What meets a significant need in the world?” My personal answer is right here, on the website where you’re reading this.
Despite the fact that we all love it, this mission is far bigger than just developing “Yoga stuff.” For every yogi out there, for every person out there, I hold the unshakable belief that you are on this planet for a purpose, for a mission only you can fulfill. I believe that awakening to this mission – to your life’s purpose – is the greatest adventure of all. To reach your highest contribution, you will need three key attributes. You must be fit. You must be focused. And just like my YTT classmates that had the courage to open up, to share, and to be authentic, you must be fearless.
The vision for FearlessYoga is to be an incubator for Yoga innovation. It is my dream that as a Yoga community, we can collaborate, problem-solve, share our talents, and inspire one another to each achieve our personal missions.
Along the way, I hope that we can create courses and curriculums, tools and technologies, products and services, and create new ways to change lives and build a better world through the simple practice of Yoga. I look forward to sharing this adventure with you.
— Steve Creel, RYT-200, CYT, FearlessYoga, LLC
*and repurposed to great effect on Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.
Steve Creel is a Yogi, martial artist, code monkey, and explorer of Planet Earth. Husband and father, wanderer and worshiper. Professionally he is the Senior Vice President of Marketing Execution and the Director of Digital Platforms for the US division of a global financial services group. He founded FearlessYoga™ in 2011 and today runs FearlessYoga, LLC.