A couple of weeks ago, my friend LaDonna invited me to try out a free new local event called Pop Up Yoga Des Moines. I’d heard a little bit about it here and there on social media, but hadn’t made it yet, and her invite was exactly the prompt I needed to look into it more seriously. By the end of the chat, we had made plans to go the following Saturday.
About midway through the week, I heard something that made me a tad nervous. The featured yoga class that week? AcroYoga! Not the usual “namaste” I was used to, and something that seemed to be quite a bit outside my comfort zone. LaDonna and I chatted about it and decided that we would go anyway, and, if nothing else, have a little fun making fools of ourselves. What did we have to lose?
The official AcroYoga website says:
AcroYoga blends the wisdom of yoga, the dynamic power of acrobatics, and the loving kindness of healing arts. These three lineages form the foundation of a practice that cultivates trust, playfulness, and community.
It certainly was all that. When we arrived Saturday morning, the organizers greeted us warmly and welcomed all the newcomers to AcroYoga, making us feel completely at ease. They explained that there were several seasoned “Acroyogis” dispersed throughout the class so if we’d never participated, we didn’t have to worry. After a little warmup, we went into the exercises.
I’m not going to try to go into what everything was (I know I’ll get it wrong). But, we started with a couple base moves and moved into more complex ones as we grew more comfortable. LaDonna and I were paired with a very experienced gentlemen (and I can’t for the life of me remember his name right now) that was super nice and really, really helpful as we overcame our nervousness. He’s the base in the pic above.
My biggest takeaway from AcroYoga was the trust that it takes. For each pose to work, you must completely trust the person you are working with, whether you are the “base” (the bottom) or the “flyer” (who’s up in the air). The two partners each have their role to play, and they each support one another. My second takeaway is how comfortable you need to be with being in another person’s body space. That’s easy when you bring a friend, but when you’re partnered with a stranger, it can feel a little weird at first. At the end of the day though, it’s really not – both people are just in their yoga practice. It’s not about who’s feet or hands are touching who.
I’m really glad to have tried AcroYoga, though I think with my rather sporadic yoga practice, I’ll stick with traditional yoga (and stay on the ground). If I had more time to perfect AcroYoga, I would certainly add it to my repertoire!
Have you ever tried an alternative type of yoga?