Thursday, March 15, 2012

AcroYoga~flying beyond boundaries

Last weekend was one of the most eye-opening and heart-opening experiences I've ever had. What an honor it was to meeting two of the most inspirational AcroYogis (friends, really;)! If you've never heard of AcroYoga, or maybe have a hesitation to what its all about...this blog is for you!

This Acro video is what we saw for about a month before the workshop. It raised so many questions~Can I really do that? There's no way I can do any of that. What if I'm too tall? I think I'm too heavy to do any of this. I don't know anyone that will be there, can I bring a friend?

Many expressed their concerns, and you all know me by now...I'm not a pressure sales person. I'm an advocate for you making the decision that's best for you....but I will give you all points of view, and encourage you to try things that might be our of your box ;)

Friday evening session was the perfect time to attend to set your mind (and body) at ease. It was a true introduction to the foundation, the basics, of AcroYoga. Acro meaning acrobatic...but more than that-it means trust. The one thing each of us yearn for in another but many times get the exact opposite, and the one thing we often don't do with ourselves.
 Marina & Jaci in Plank on Plank

 Amy & Justin, our hosts, have such a gentle way of introducing people to something so scary to all of us-you can tell it IS their passion. When someone has a passion you can see and feel it in them. It irradiates with such enthusiasm, and most of all compassion. Every once in a while you meet people that make an impact in your life, and these two amazing people did just that...and beyond.

At first glance, does this look like something that is attainable for you? Many are completely hesitant, and quite frankly, freaked out to even think about someones feet & hands holding you up. Participants in the workshop were of all heights, sizes, strengths, weaknesses...but they all had that same hesitation in common. Trust. How do you know if the person holding you up is going to be able to do this? How do you know if the spotter really is paying attention? How can you truly let go, flying, being suspended, and enjoy this? How the heck can you relax being held upside down? is possible ;)

When I originally contacted AcroYoga in November about doing a workshop I was not pregnant. Once I confirmed the workshop I knew I was pregnant, and didn't really think I'd be able to participate in any of it. Being pregnant you learn your limitations, and keep you & the baby (most importantly) safe....which is something during a regular yoga practice is what we strive to do without a baby...its just more pronounced now ;) I was more excited for yogis & friends to have a blast of a weekend, and just play paparazzi to capture these 'near impossible' moments ;) Even I was not prepared for what we were about to experience...

At 4 months pregnant I got to do much partner work (not Acro per say) where we built strength, community, and guess what? Trust :) As long as you communicated with your partner, and paid attention to your partner, each worked together to learn the other person's strengths & edges (edge-as in not going past your range of motion). I'm very aware of my limits, and I honor keeping my baby & and I safe. One of the most freeing moments I had was when I flew with Amy....I will be honest and say that in my lifetime I have been able to trust very few people. Many, like all of us, have hurt my family & I, and trust is something that is close to my heart. In my thirties I feel as if I can 'choose' wiser than I have before, but since we are human I make plenty of mistakes. My goal in flying was to feel peaceful and to let go. Things I feel when I practice yoga. I felt that, and way beyond what I had imagined.
When I stood over Amy for her to place her feet appropriately on my upper back (not baby;) I fully trusted her-I knew this was her job, her passion, and I completely trusted her. I literally closed my eyes, and let her lift me (us) up into the most gentle easy backbend I've ever experienced. Backbends are so challenging for expecting Mamas-our upper abdominals just don't quite want to stretch like they used to, and this position was so freeing~it was as if her feet were not touching my back, as if her hands were not touching my ankles. I honestly felt like I was just there-I truly let go, and felt at peace.

All the facial expressions captured truly embrace what this is all about.....

I couldn't be MORE excited & proud for everyone that shared this weekend with all of us! To see everyone gain strength, confidence, and courage was one of the most rewarding experiences I've had as a teacher. It is a gift that people share their moments with me as a teacher, student, and friend. I thank each of you for doing so :)

Thank you to everyone that attended, and shared their weekend with everyone! Thank you to those that attended that are from other yoga studios~it is important that we grow the yoga community as one rather than be divided, and you all were an immense strength to break that boundary this weekend! Thank you for your courage xoox

AcroYoga has touched our lives so greatly that we are continuing to get together and play, fly, build community~those that are interested are welcome to join our Facebook Group: AcroYoga Little Rock, or if you're not on Facebook send me an email, and we'll keep in touch when we're meeting to fly & play! We are getting together tomorrow, Friday, March 16, 6pm at Barefoot Studio. No cost. Just people wanting to play :)

Lots of love & hugs~