Have you ever tried something that you weren’t good at on the first try, and it made you really discouraged? That is just your ego talking, and I’m going to tell you why you shouldn’t listen to it. Nowadays, I LOVE trying new things, but I wasn’t always that way. When I was younger, I let my ego make the decisions, and I ended up spending a lot of time on the sidelines of various activities. I always preferred to watch instead of trying it. Since starting yoga, and just growing older and more confident, I began to feel a little more adventurous. But, whenever I tried something new, my ego would jump in and say things like “hey, this must not be your thing because you suck at it!” or “you should just stop trying, you are never going to be good at that.” It’s easy to listen to that voice, and to give up, but if you do that, you will never grow! You have to tell that voice that you appreciate it’s feedback, but you will have to agree to disagree. Once you stop listening to your inner debbie downer, you will start to grow, and really cool and fun things might happen like….
This past Wednesday, I dragged CJ to his first ever yoga class which happened to be an Acro Yoga class called Thai and Fly held at the Breathing Room in Cambridge. Cj had no idea what to expect, and I didn’t either. I had never done acro yoga, but I saw one of my friend’s pictures from an acro yoga class on facebook, and it looked like a really fun way to bond with your significant other. I’ve tried to get CJ to do some basic acro stuff at home, but he always gets nervous that he’s going to drop me. I figured if I could convince him to take a class with me, he would feel a little more comfortable attempting some poses with a spotter.
Acro yoga is surprisingly hard, and it involves a lot of core and leg strength for the base, and lots of balance and upper body strength for the flyer. I am still sore three days later from the class! Acro yoga also involves trust, support, and a little bit of fearlessness. The class was broken up into groups of three, with one person as a base, one as a flyer, and the other as a spotter. It really helped having a spotter there because you could really be playful without having the risk of getting hurt.
Throughout the class, I was mostly a flyer, but I wanted to try being a base so I could understand how hard it was. Instead of trying to be a base for CJ, the teacher, Sandy, let me try to base her, which was super hard even though she was a small woman. It’s really hard to push somebody into the air using your legs and core, and if you have tight hamstrings like CJ and I both do, it’s really hard to straighten your legs to get into the full position. As you can see in the picture below, CJ has a little wedge under his hips to help with the tight hamstrings. After my failed first attempt at basing, I got a little discouraged, but it was a good learning experience, and from then on I could understand how hard the base’s job was.
We learned a couple different acro poses, and then we got to play around with them. The picture above is called throne, and it was by far the scariest, but most fun of the poses we tried that class. It involved tons of trust between CJ and I, and I couldn’t believe it when we got into the final pose. Look mom, no hands!
The best part of class for me was watching CJ get to be a flyer. It was so awesome. Sandy, the same small woman that was a flyer for me, was the base for CJ. It just goes to show you that in Acro yoga, size doesn’t really matter. I really wish I could have gotten a picture of CJ in the throne pose, but I missed the opportunity.
I don’t know if acro yoga will be making any more appearances in my near future, but I’m definitely glad I tried it. It was a fun activity for CJ and I, and an awesome way to explore some new, and playful ways of movement. If you live in the Boston area and want to check it out, the Breathing room has acro yoga every Wednesday night at 6pm for $20.
Thanks for taking the pictures, Sandy!