Lora Hogan > Yoga  > Worry Wart No More

Worry Wart No More


It’s so easy to let our fear dictate us.

My brain always goes in over-drive and I think. A lot.

Even when I think I’m not thinking it’s like, oh drat, there you go,  Lora, thinking again. (See “Healthy Eating, Daily Meditation” to see how crazy my brain is when I’m meditating. And that’s when I’m trying *not* to think.)

And I realize I am going to drive myself totally crazy.

If I worry this much at 27 and realize that I worry considerably more now than I did ten years ago and ten years before that…I could be a total crazy person by the time I’m ready for retirement.

No bueno.

So I’m going to stop it.

The constant thinking and living in my head.

And I realize that over-thinking, worrying, it all stems from one thing: FEAR.

So I’m going learn to live with my fear.  I’m going to live out of my head. I’m not going to conquer fear.  I’m not going to pretend the fear isn’t there. But I’m going to say, “hey fear, I see you! I feel you! I get that you are there.” And then I’m going to find out what happens after the fear. By breathing into the moment, staying in it, and moving on to the next.

Which is wayyyyyyy harder than it sounds.

And I venture that my personal fears are probably similar to your fears. We fear change, we fear intimacy, we fear love (let’s face it, we do), we fear hatred, we fear stillness, we fear busyness, we fear strangers, we fear friends, we fear perfection, we fear imperfection, we fear quiet, we fear communication, we fear the past, we fear the future, we definitely fear the present moment. We fear ourselves.

Crapola! That all adds up to a lot of fear, doesn’t it?

We are so scared of so many thing that we build up a fortress of fear and avoid actually living, communicating, or feeling at all. (Think about it. People even fear just waiting for people now and have to use their cell phones and play on them so that we don’t look like we are just waiting.  I do that too. How silly is that? But we are addicted to avoidance.)

Josh Pais wrote an amazing blog post back in April called “The Truth About Fear.” Josh says, scarily, that “You will never get over your fear.”

And it’s true. We have so many crazy fears that it would be impossible to conquer them all. To vanquish fear from our lives. Because then we would probably be some other kind of crazy and neurotic person.

But fear is a feeling. As Josh says “fear is a body sensation….a  slightly chaotic energy…..Plus, there is conversation in the mind of self-doubt.”

But we can control our inner-conversation. We can control that self-doubt and what how we react to it. We can control what happens when we start to feel our fear.

It’s pretty simple, actually. We can breathe in the uncomfortableness.

We can feel the fear, acknowledge it, feel it, and stay in the scary present moment and wait for what comes after the fear. Without getting into the worry wart part of the brain and just letting the emotions be what they are, when they are, how they are.

Easier said than done, right?

So I am starting with the easier fears.

I’m afraid of falling.

Both physically and metaphorically.

But this is a fear that I can learn to deal with. That I can embrace.

I can practice going upside down. I can practice breathing through the fear of falling and see what happens if I don’t, in fact, fall down.

I’m practicing aerial yoga with the lovely Tara Tomerine in Tampa Bay.  We use silk swings to practice inversions. The silk swings support me so that, no matter how scared I am of landing on my head–I physically cannot land on my head. The swing holds up my body.

Some swings in action, during Tara’s class at the Rubin Health Center:

And here I am, letting the swing help me ground down into the earth, practicing my handstand in the middle of the room–with the swing catching my legs.

I need to press those hands down into the ground more! See how my left thumb is creeping up? Fear kicks in if we don’t start with a solid foundation.

Thanks to the swing, I will not tumble or fall on my head. I’m still scared out of my mind….But the swing helps me catch my breath and be in the heart palpitations of fear that posses my chest. And those fear sensations make me desperately want to JUMP out of my body and into my mind and stop everything I’m doing and shut down.  But I can’t. I don’t. I breathe and, with the help of the swing, KEEP ON BREATHING and KEEP ON STAYING IN THE MOMENT.

Scary? Hell, yes.

Amazing? That to.

Because I’ve learned that the moment  after the fear is exciting and new. And the fear dissipates and changes and the energy transforms into something else.

But, dude, it is really ridiculously frightening to breathe into your fear.

And hard.

But worth it.  And now, I’ll aim to take embrace and breathe into the fear in other aspects of my life. To talk with my brain, turn it off, and figure out how to stay in the scary moment and let the worry just be. Because if I breathe into the scary something else new and exciting may take off.

Who knows?

How do you address your fear?

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon) variation using swing to relieve pressure on front knee. And only one leg holds you in the swing! There’s a lot of trust that comes with practicing this pose in aerial yoga.



  • runningbetty

    December 9, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    that looks like so much fun! I watched the WSJ video on the YogaMoves website, and she brings up fear as well. Good for you, Lora! I’d love to try it someday.

    • Lora

      December 10, 2012 at 7:42 am

      I think you would like it a lot! Someday when I don’t rent my apartment (or I have a super duper amazing landlord), I want to put my own silk swing hooks in so I can practice at home. Say when you want to go and I’d love to take you and have you try it!!