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Partner Yoga

April 1 2013

“Lindsay, did you ever  play ‘airplane’ with anyone when you were little?” -Brian Charlton

“Of course! I’m almost positive everyone has, why? Wait a second, what are you doing… why are you pointing your feet in my direction? Oh! Oh no… that’s not going to happen. I was literally half the person I am now, there’s no way!” -Me

“Trust me, just fly.” – Brian Charlton

The moment my feet lifted off the ground  I was overwhelmed with the sheer Sukkah (sweetness, pleasure) of being able to instantly defy gravity, and defy myself. Letting go of the chronic obsession we hold onto as humans and as a society that we shouldn’t trust anyone, especially when it comes to defending our own bodies, was radically liberating and illogically easy. When he told me to breathe, I would; to let my legs fall and trust him to catch them, I didn’t think twice; to give him control of the art, I gave in.  After only moments of being taken on this journey my body adapted, almost as if this was exactly what my body was built to do; even though, self-consciously, only moments ago I would have disagreed.  A divine partnership eased my conscious, and the Sthira (grounding through relationship) was astounding. Being immersed in the Sagarat Vat (ocean like) flow of Vinyasa that was boundlessly tied to the Agni (fire) of acrobatics put me in a sort of trance, I was instantly captivated. Being twirled in  seemingly zero gravity cart-wheels, to being the five year old me arms spread wide imagining soaring through silk clouds; I forgot to be scared, I forgot not trust my partner, I forgot about gravity, I was too busy smiling. Now that I have practiced Acro-Yoga a handful of times, I can tell you every experience I have had with new partners has been vastly different, but always filled with pure Metta ( loving and kindness) and I have never walked away without a new friendship.

Surrendering trust into someone else’s hands, and in this case their feet as well, to toss your weight around upside-asana style isn’t likely to have been a scenario you’ve contemplated deeply enough to lose sleep over.  We have all come across them before: The elegant pictures of two (sometimes more) yogis flawlessly twisted up, backlit and in some posture you’re positive there isn’t even a name for, and thought to yourself, “That’s not even possible. Photo editing is getting super intense these days,”  or something along the lines of, “I wonder where they even do this stuff at?! Do people seriously teach this, or do they just go join the circus?” Well, ladies and gentleman it seems the circus has come to us this time. Bala Yoga will be hosting two amazing teachers to go through the basics of Acro-Yoga and all things partner! Brian Charlton and Jenn Hill are offering this workshop on April 6th,2013 from 1pm until 4pm. If you have never done Acro-yoga, or even Yoga at all I invite you to come let yourself build new confidence along with friendships in the welcoming community at Bala Yoga!

Here are a few tips to ready yourself for this kick-asana playshop!

1. Come 15 Minutes early! Get to know people, get comfortable. You came to play!

2. Wear something comfortable. Comfortable… not baggy! If you’re swimming in your shirt, you will surely be tied up with someone’s feet in it as well!

3.Don’t eat up to 1 hour before. Pretty self explanatory… could end poorly.

4.Bring water, a towel, and your mat just as you would for a regular yoga class. Forgot your mat or towel? Don’t own a mat?! Thank goodness Bala has them to rent as well!

5.No experience with Acro-Yoga needed to come and play! A little regular yoga experience helps, but hey everything is yoga right?! We invite everyone!

Tips about Acro-Yoga:

1. Bring someone! If you are worried if you don’t have a partner… don’t be! We are a community! We all are here to show our love and have fun! Invite your friends and your family! Bala is such a warm loving community, we welcome every level of yogi, every level of nervous and intimidated first timers with open arms!

2.Worried about your weight?! Get over it people, we are all different and yet the same! We stack weight so you use bone strength vs. muscle strength. Muscle tires, bones don’t! “Acro doesn’t defy gravity, it honors it”- Acroyoga.org

3.Give it up, take it in! You have to let yourself go and trust your partner, you have to trust yourself! Enjoy not having to worry about what to do next, just be in the moment! “As you learn to support others, you end up allowing yourself to be supported” -Acroyoga.org

4.Ask and you shall receive. “hey, your foot…. it’s really uncomfortable pushing in my stomach. I love the how your supporting my arms though!” Ouch?! Speak up! If you want to try something you’ve never tried, or if something isn’t your cup of tea… communicate! Always with love, always with respect! Work together, or fall apart!

5.Base, flyer or spotter… that is the question. Try it all!! Find your own passion, and your partner will find you!


Well, that’s what I have to offer you guys for the Acro workshop! I hope I have calmed the nerves and amped the mind and body! Come and Join us! I’ll be there! If you have any questions about this workshop feel free to email Brian Charlton at Briancharlton@balayoga.com. Make sure to  pre-register ($40) at balayoga.com under events or just show up the day of ($45)!! See you all soon!

___/|\___ Namaste and come play!!

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