Lifting My Partner

So turns out I may write here more often, at least until I somehow offend someone and the site crashes… cross your fingers

My yoga experience is pretty limited. I’m not a teacher and I’m not even sure I qualify as a student, but at times I suppose I could be considered both on a technicality. There is one style of yoga that I do help my wife teach and am a student of, Acroyoga. I’m the awkward guy in the front of class going “Hi, I’m Eric and I don’t do yoga.” As I slowly move to my mat….

Now Acro is not your everyday class and truth be told I’ve recruited more unwitting partners by telling their significant others it’s a gateway for people who either don’t like or are reluctant to try yoga. Sorry Brendan… But that’s how it started with me. I like to think of myself as the “Muscle” as I spend most of my time on my back lifting my wife, Amanda with my arms and legs as she does yoga in the air.

Truthfully, there is more to it than that. The bond we share has grown over time the more we practice. We’ve learned how each other moves and feels. When we started there was a lot of fumbling and trying to talk through the movements and now all though I still drop her on occasion… oops, we move with slight touches and eye contact.

Shorts by My Inner Fire Mat from Yoloha Yoga

Shorts by My Inner Fire Mat from Yoloha Yoga

When we started the class, we had couples tell us it was their couple’s therapy. The class does require some amount trust and communication. You need to trust your partner to be there for you, to catch you when you fall. You need to say when something is uncomfortable or you need to get down. Although we always have great spotters during class, we always teach your base is your first spotter, because they feel your body and the balance. Many times I know when my partner is going to fall before they do and it’s my job to ensure that happens as gracefully as possible.

Now let’s be clear I don’t fly. Not because I can’t but because I don’t want to. Have I tried a few poses in the air, sure but that’s not where my interests lie and that’s ok. You don’t have to fly, you don’t have to base but you CAN. Don’t be intimidated to do one or the other based on preconceived notions of body styles. With the right partner and some spotters some poses may be accessible.

These skills though are not just beneficial to couples. It’s more about connecting with people and being open. Our classes almost always have some singles and they get thrown into all the same stuff.  You meet new people and make new friends. Our group grows every week, maybe next week it will be with you.

Maybe Acro isn’t for you, maybe you don’t want to rely on another person for your practice and that’s ok, but there is more to yoga than the standard studio or gym class. Try a workshop, learn headstands, learn meditation, or try hanging off fabric from the ceiling. Take a dive into adventure yoga and see where it takes you. I’m going to go lay on my back and watch Amanda do yoga on my feet.