Could You Laugh Away a Fear?

Sex tapes! Poetry recitals! Alpine tower jumps! Diet switcheroos! Welcome to MORE's fer-crying-out-loud just-do-it already blowout special, in which women just like you hurl themselves out of their comfort zone and into a brave new world where style, substance and unmitigated badassery abound. The rut busting starts here

by Emily Listfield
yoga crow pose image
Photograph: Shutterstock.com

I have had a lifelong fear of somersaults.

In gym I was a side flopper, deliberately tumbling to the left or right to avoid going over.

And so the crow—a yoga pose in which you crouch down, place your hands on the floor, lean forward, then balance both knees on the backs of your upper arms—elicits my terror of toppling onto my head. I tried a few times in yoga class, but before my feet even left the ground I’d resort to the pre-emptive side flop, controlling the fall rather than risking the move.

Enter Gwen Lawrence, yoga teacher to such luminaries as New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez and former U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan. “Everything we do is ruled by two emotions: love and fear,” she tells me. “It takes 10 times as much energy to live and work from fear.”

Hands on the mat, I bend my arms to 90 degrees as Lawrence shows me, keeping them close to my body. Rocking back and forth, I finally balance one knee on one arm. Slowly, I lift the other leg—and fall instantly.

But at least I didn’t give up before I tried. A new emotion takes over: determination. I get one knee up, and then I kick off with the other foot.

Lawrence steadies me, then lets go. For five miraculous seconds I hover in crow, delighted and weightless and free, before gravity takes hold. This time I am smiling as I fall.

Emily Listfield is the author of the novel Best Intentions.

Next: Are You Ready to Ask for a Raise?

Don’t miss out on MORE great articles like this one. Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter!

Illustration courtesy of Markus Gann/Shutterstock.com

First Published Fri, 2013-06-21 15:34

Find this story at:

http://www.more.com/relationships/attitudes/could-you-laugh-away-fear