Some of the biggest issues that come up in relationships, regardless of the genders involved, are: trust, commitment, communication, and vulnerability. These are some of the hardest challenges to overcome because the give and take is so intangible. Once you get into the habit of second guessing your partner, it is almost impossible to break it. Not only because you are trying to figure out your own issues, but it is also nearly impossible to know what is going on with the other person. Even when trying couples therapy, it can lead to the same cyclic conversations and, therefore, lead nowhere. Words can ignite emotions making it difficult to hear what is being said.
Acroyoga is a type of yoga that mixes Thai massage, traditional yoga, and acrobatics; it is often referred to as “partner yoga.” Working with a partner is a good idea for yoga or any physical activity for that matter. What makes Acroyoga unique is that you are aligning a mind and body connection, not only to calm and center yourself, but also to achieve synchronicity with your partner. As you progress towards each position, you must be aware of your own movements and constantly maintain contact with your “significant other.” The two roles are the flyer, person being supporting and elevated, and the base, person supporting the flyer. Do you recall doing “trust falls”? You may have played this game during summer camp as a team building exercise? This is like that, but with yoga.
The movements range in difficulty and they each require different skill sets. Some positions require the base participant to be flexible, and others positions would need them to be strong. Conversely, the flyer might have to balance themselves or rely on the base to keep them in the air. Suitable for all ages and body types, these series of movements can either be routine or improvised. What are constant in successful pairings are the characteristics between the two participants.
The first move before getting into any position is for both participants to agree upon the same destination. The goal is to get from one place to the next, all the while getting there as safely as possible. You must commit to bringing your best self to the pairing so that you may ensure that you are both in a comfortable place.
Once that initial commitment is made, you must trust that your partner has your best interests at heart. The beauty in Acroyoga is that the poses and transitions increase in difficulty as with progression. You can’t just skip to an advanced state without establishing a solid foundation first. You must perform at a pace comfortable for both the flyer and base, such that all movement is uniform between both parties. This is how the two participants develop trust in one another. Your ability to perform as a pair will increase exponentially, and your trust as partners will grow.
If the flyer feels like they are going to fall, then it is their responsibility to say, “I feel like I am falling.” The flyer needs to communicate their need for support to their base partner. Like the flyer, the base needs to let the flyer know ”My hand is slipping.” You have to be honest about what is going on. You learn to be open to accepting the other person’s truth. If the flyer is not very flexible, there are certain positions that may be uncomfortable, and others that are just downright painful. Similarly, if the base is not strong enough to support the flyer in a position, the couple is not ready to be in that state. The two can only perform at a level where BOTH participants are comfortable.
Fear is invariably going to come into play, not only for the flyer, but also for the person that has to support them. You are forced to confront your own insecurities and fears with another person there to witness it. If the base tenses up and grips the flyer’s body because they are afraid, it can cause an injury. If the flyer reacts too quickly then someone could easily be hurt by an accidental punch or kick that was, simply, a reflex. We must be open to the possibility of being hurt; all the while doing everything we can to ensure the other person is taken care of. The selflessness, is at times, the glue that holds the stick.
What happens as a result of these connections is that the flyer will receive the thrill of accomplishment. The base will vicariously revel in that joy as a supporting part of another person’s growth. When everything lines up, it is possible for both people to click, and find a harmony that may last an instant or an hour. It is that harmony that we are really searching for in our relationships, and in intercourse.
Zen, a meditative moment achieved from practicing traditional yoga, can be shared between two people. Male or female, straight or gay, it is symbolic of the possibility within all of us to connect. In Acroyoga you have a tangible means to communicate these principles and see results. You can also see the truth of two people’s incompatibility. Acroyoga is the physical mirror that reflects your position shifts as mental changes. The same laws of gravity apply to keep us from falling. We need support. When you fall in love, there should be someone to catch you