First Acro-Yoga Experience

I am blessed to live in the nation’s capital for yoga. Southern California is the mecca for yoga talent, in my humble opinion. I know that there is massive yoga talent everywhere…I am just spoiled to have so many here within driving distance.

Today, at South Bay Equinox  we hosted an Acro Workshop led by Briohny Smyth and Dice Iida-Klein, These two did a Q Blog video together has reached almost 490,000 views on You Tube

Bri stated in the middle of learning these Acro poses that a key component for successful “flying” is the ability to relax and relinquish control to the “base”. The notion to want to control the drop, the reach or push through the partner poses is common but works in the opposite effect that you want. Yoga is primarily taught as a singular practice so to shift that paradigm into a partner based practice takes mental clarity and a lot of trust. Trust in your partner and more so, trust within yourself, to actually let go and embrace the challenge and newness is SO rewarding.

I showed up to the workshop with no partner (my partner lives in NYC and could not make it), an open heart to learn a new skill and to meet some new friends. That is what yoga community is all about right?!?

A little recap of the workshop…

The first part Dice had us move our mats literally within one inch of each other…so already anxiety for us went panic mode as this task took four minutes too long…its only natural to feel “too close” when you are used to practicing feet away from other students versus just one inch.

Dice moved us through a twenty-minute flow together (literally together)…we were doing a mild flow while holding each others shoulders, hands, heads and bodies. It was fantastic! You were touching strangers (sounds dirty, but it wasn’t – I promise), adjusting their bodies with tiny but effective adjustments.

Then we broke into groups of five and Bri and Dice showed us a series of poses over the course of ninety minutes. You didn’t have to have just one partner – it was old-school group project energy. I was super blessed with my group. We had a couple of teachers and some seasoned practitioners so we had a blast!

Bri and Dice would break the movement down and explain the “flier” and “base” roles and actions and then we would go to work in our groups.

This is where it got FUN…first off…our group was new to each other so we were forced to trust each other from the get-go. I was rather surprised at myself. I may be known to be a tad too controlling in my everyday life so I figured I would take that into this practice but unbeknownst to me I was rather free and happy-go-lucky in these poses. I loved every moment of it. It was almost like skydiving…the anticipation while ascending up in the air was the hardest part….letting go and opening up to the fun and benefits of the fall is what made it so enjoyable – same thing for acro-yoga (minus the fall piece). But falling was a reality and that was a huge fear most of us hold onto on and off the mat, whether it be a personal or acro-yoga practice. Fear is the ultimate barrier between you and breakthroughs.

The workshop ended with some yummy stretches we could take home and teach our loved ones to do with us and we closed with a big circle (knees touching of course) and a reflection on the practice.

It was a FABULOUS day and I feel so blessed to know these two. Thank you Bri and Dice 🙂



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