Saturday, January 15, 2011


Acrobatics, Yoga, and Thai Massage. Combined together give you Acroyoga

It has been an obsession of mine for a couple of years because it is a wildly different type of yoga. (I'm no whiz yet...I've been practicing it a little less than a year now.) Acro is a partner yoga, and you're actually sometimes working with more than one person since some of the poses require a spotter. If you've ever been to a yoga class, you know that you're the one receiving the benefits in the practice. At the beginning and at the end of the class, it's just you.

Your yoga world flips upside down when you get to experience the joy and community that forms once it becomes an "us" interaction.

One of the biggest concerns when I first started practicing was "what if someone can't lift me? what if I'm...too heavy?" but then you learn how you're really not doing much work sometimes as a base (did you know the ground/earth is incredibly strong?). I know it's asking for a lot, I know it's not easy at first. But it's truly remarkable the amount of trust you find yourself placing on a complete stranger that's about to lift you above the ground over their head.

So you start to go to acro classes and when the instructor(s) start out with the lesson plan and showing you what you will soon be mimicking, it scares you shitless. going to be doing that? you ask yourself. It's because of this, that when I step into class that I believe that my body is capable of doing anything.Yes, I can make my way into Star and do a pike straddle with only a little bit of help from friends (translation: a headstand variation on the soles of someone's feet)

Unlike any other yoga class I've walked into, there is this beautiful feeling of community. Most all of us great each other with a hug, a sincere "Hi, how are you?"
We don't just recite our names, we talk about how our bodies are feeling, and usually followed by one of those icebreaker questions, except they're much more fun to answer.

Okay, last comparison.

I find myself sometimes going to a regular yoga class and feeling incredibly disconnected. Class wraps up, the instructor says their cordial thanks and I'm only started to feel warmed up. The little voice in my head starts thinking if anyone around here wants to play, only to be disappointed.
Recently I went to a hot yoga class, almost everyone was decked out in their designer Lululemon or $80+ pair of yoga pants. Just a tad uncomfortable for a sec. Complete silence in the locker room as twenty plus women were packed in, minding their own business. I get it though, some people just don't really want to care and get to know others in a practice that can be very selfish...and that's okay I guess.

"There are an infinite amount of ways one body can play/interact with another"
-Lindsey Britt (acroyoga instructor extraordinaire)

Acroyoga is offered in Chicago once a week for all levels Monday evenings at Urban Lotus Yoga at 730pm. A level 1-2 class is also offered on Sunday evenings at Nature Yoga at 3:30pm (they'll resume sometime in March, so double check the schedule).