On Saturday, I walked into my local Lululemon store for a complimentary yoga class expecting the usual soothing yoga poses. This class was no usual yoga! The class leaders (2 of them) asked us to move our mats closer together. They wanted our mats to touch so we had no personal space between us.
As we all sat in close quarters watching the leaders warm up, I started to think that I should have stayed home to get through that long list of chores waiting for me at home.
Scoop, the male leader, laid on his back with his legs and arms up, and knees bent. Ashlyn, the female leader, put her stomach on Scoop’s legs, grabbed his hands, as he proceeded to lift her above him. She performed a number of yoga poses while in the air. In another move, Ashlyn did a headstand with her head between his legs. Talk about intimate!
Here are Scoop and Ashlyn in a promotional video demonstrating their moves:
After their demonstration/warm up, they told us that we were in for a treat as we would learn to do these poses in class. Scanning around me, I could see others in the room with wide-eyed panic in their looks. Most of us were here alone and didn’t want to have our heads tucked between someone else’s legs. Scoop and Ashlyn reassured us that we would be fine, safe and feel comfortable with each other during the session.
If you’re still wondering what we were doing, it’s called Acroyoga. It’s a combination of yoga and acrobatics. Although I had not heard about it until Saturday, there are many people practicing this form of yoga, which has been around since 1999. If you want to learn more about it, visit this Wikipedia page for general information.
Giving it a try…
Okay, back to my Saturday experience. To get us ready to try the poses they demonstrated, Scoop and Ashlyn got us mingling with each other. After a few icebreaker activities that helped us get to know each other a bit, we warmed up our bodies with a few traditional yoga moves. After that, we were ready for business. The leaders divided us up into groups of 3’s so that we could practice being ‘base’, ‘flyer’, and ‘spotter’. These are 3 important roles in acroyoga.
I’m lucky to have had in my group an experienced acroyoga practitioner (Whitney), who made the experience both enjoyable and rewarding. I’m happy to say that I managed to get in the air and do a few moves, including a headstand. As the base, I managed to raise someone up in the air so she could practice her yoga moves, and I helped a very tall, strong man do a headstand – although wth additional help from the spotter. With more practice, maybe I can help my husband do the headstand move!
Sadly, I didn’t bring my iPhone to class so I don’t have photos to show you of my proud moments. Maybe next week.
Am I glad I went to class? Yes. Would I try acroyoga again? Definitely. If you want to challenge your strength and improve your core, acroyoga may be for you.