Facing Fears Part II: The Wave (And Yoga) Edition

After the massive success that was the first Facing Fears Article (most read post to date on the blog!) I have a confession to make: There was a bonus question, and it was all about overcoming fears in the surf  (or in Casey's case, the yoga room).

I thought it would make a fantastic story in itself, and I'm pretty stoked on how it's turned out. 

Getting scared in the surf, no matter the conditions, happens to ALL of us.  After all, we're at the mercy of Mama Nature, and you can't really argue with that. Everyone has a different "edge" -- a size or situation that gives them that fight or flight feeling. Fear is natural and healthy, it teaches a lot about how to react and deal with ourselves.  The more you learn and get use to certain situations, the more you get comfortable for the next time around.

I know I get the jitters every time I surf somewhere new, no matter the size. 

 4 salty sisters share their thoughts on fear, bigger waves, new yoga classes and a few funny ways to deal with it. 


How To face your Fears in the surf : 


Entrepreneur, Owner & Founder of Surfista Travels in Siargao, Phillipines. 

I always tell myself or my students to BE BRAVE. It’s okay - even normal - to be scared. But let your motivation of OVERCOMING your fear be greater than the fear itself.
— Elaine Abonal




I still get scared when I surf - if the waves are bigger than what I'm used to, if I'm surfing in a new country or a new spot, or even if I'm using a new surfboard I'm not sure I'll catch waves on. 

It's the best feeling ever when you do overcome that fear and surf amazing waves you never thought you could.

BUT if you're an absolute beginner and know for a fact that you're in a spot or conditions way out of your level or skill, know the difference between being brave and being stupid. ;)





Freelance Writer, Producer, World Traveler & Surfer

There’s a rhythm & a pattern out there, look for it. It’s not smart to paddle out into something that doesn’t make any sense. My progression was a slow & diligent process, a lot of failures and a few life-changing successes. I learned you’ve got to make time for Mother Ocean and be patient with her, like anything. Little by little, she invited me in and once I quit forcing it, I found some nice flow.
— Jen Yih





Surf has helped me look fear straight in the eye... Sometimes after a great day of surf, I’ll lay in bed and reflect on the time in the water and some logic strikes me like, “Wow, that was insane. I was just floating out in the middle of the ocean with sea creatures & no ground, on a little 5 foot shark cracker.” Then I fall asleep.

I used to be afraid to surf alone because I didn’t really understand what was going on out there. First thing was simply understanding the ocean, not forcing it.

That being said, it does take effort out in the water. I realised I couldn’t quit at the first sign of fear or failure or big menacing wave. I expected to be washing machined, held down, thrown around, cut up, embarrassed, kook of the day... it’s a part of the process. Eventually, I found myself in bigger, better, more foreign waves. And friends, friends help make the not-so-good days great. I think I’m on this ride for life now.




Surfer,  Photographer,  Shark Enthusiast. 

I rest slightly in the freediving knowledge and techniques I have been taught by FII Freedivers to utilise my breath hold but there’s only so much relaxing you can do when you’re getting pounded into a sandbar
— Amber Jones


I’m the worst person to ask this because I’m terrified of big waves. I should adhere to my own advice of stepping outside my comfort zone but honestly, getting rolled by huge swell just scares the shit out of me and I put it down to getting owned & almost drowning when surfing Puerto Escondido a few years back.


How to deal with being a first time Yoga

Casey Cordoba

Yogi, mom of two, co-founder of The Help Experience

Every time I walk into a space that sends my thoughts spiralling into fearful thoughts, I whisper to myself - TRUST AND HAVE FAITH. Everybody poos.
— Casey Cordoba




You can not create an experience for someone, each person will perceive the very same experience differently.

All you can do is show up prepared and do your best.

You don't have to prove yourself to anyone, accept yourself just as you are - at that very moment, without having to change anything.