Fear & Flying

Awakening Through Acro Yoga

Acro Yoga in snow

Photo Courtesy of Beverly Frederick

For decades I’ve practiced and taught self-awareness and self-acceptance through yoga. Last month, at 57, I decided get off the mat and try flying with what’s called acro yoga. This is yoga with a partner, so depending on where you are in a relational continuum of communication, ease, and trust, the partner aspect can make things easier for you—or more challenging. My first class began in a circle with us all spelling our names in cursive with a body part of choice. Foolish, fun, and we learned each other’s names. We then moved into more fun, interactive warm-ups that moved us across the mats, before we were shown some of the simple counterbalances that we would be practicing as well as how to “spot” (to physically help others execute these aerials safely) and, perhaps most important, how to fall. I learned that acro yoga requires nothing less than the complete attention and inner/outer awareness of traditional hatha yoga, but you have to extend these qualities to include another yogi. For me this meant explaining with each new partner that flying (being the person held aloft, usually by their p …

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