How many times have you gotten into something that you weren’t really planning on doing, but your friend asked you go, so there you are?! Well, that’s exactly what happened last week. Lauren sent a text that said “OMG, Acro Yoga popped up on my Facebook feed, it would be hilarious, any chance you want to try it??” In Jill’s adventurous nature, she replied with “let’s do it”. Before we knew it, we were booking an Acro Yoga workshop class on the MindBody App (we had absolutely no idea what we were getting into – neither of us even practice yoga regularly) but the rest is history.
The next day we had the normal text conversations, you know, like “still on for tonight?” And, most importantly, “what are you going to wear?” As if one of us was going to reply with a “sundress and wedges” (why do girls always do this?!? I’m the worst for it.) We made a plan and we were all set. Lauren arrived at the yoga studio parking lot first and called Jill. At this point, panic was setting in! As Lauren was watching the yoga regulars walk in to class she started to feel as if we had made a HUGE mistake. While we were on the phone Jill talked Lauren ‘off the ledge’ and arrived shortly after. When we walked into the yoga studio, we both began to giggle nervously as we got ready for class. The lights were down low, soothing music was playing in the background and the regulars were already warming up (mind you, we don’t even know how to properly warm up for acro yoga.) Sooo….in true blogger fashion, what did we do?!? We found a better lit room and began to take a few selfies (I’m not even kidding.) About this time, Jill realized that she forgot to even bring a yoga mat (I mean, isn’t that like yoga 101?!?) Luckily, the studio provided a mat but I’m pretty sure this was the first hint that we didn’t really know what we were doing.
After a few minutes of waiting anxiously in the foyer (and deep breathing), we finally worked up the courage to walk into the studio. To our surprise, the instructors and other classmates were overwhelmingly warm and inviting. We quickly ousted ourselves as newbies, but luckily, that didn’t really seem to matter. The instructors were amazing; so very patient, kind and encouraging. They talked us, and the rest of the class, through every movement. They kept us safe, and most importantly, they provided a really fun learning environment.
Thoughts from Jill:
I’m not really sure what I expected going into the class. I vaguely knew what acro yoga was but I wasn’t sure what all we would do at the workshop. I did a quick google search of acro yoga poses (isn’t that how we learn everything these days?!?) I was equally nervous and excited as I browsed through all the photos of acro yoga. As I looked through the poses, some of them made me think “I can do that.” But some of the more complicated poses gave me heart palpitations. I quickly told Lauren that I would be the base (person on the bottom; the lifter.) Strength has always been my thing but my flexibility is not what it was 10 years ago. As it turns out, Lauren was a much better base. At first, I felt like my legs were just too short to get the flyer (the person being lifted) properly in the air. Towards the end of the workshop I finally figured the base thing out, but surprisingly, I liked being the flyer. There is something very freeing about hanging upside down, in the air, suspended by a stranger’s feet and totally trusting that they won’t drop you!
The workshop was roughly 2.5 hours long. Going into it, that seemed like a really long, overwhelming amount of time. But we enjoyed it so much that time literally flew by. Before we knew it, it was time to leave and we didn’t want it to end! Overall, Acro Yoga was much more about trust and team building and very little about skill. Now, don’t get me wrong, the teachers have A LOT of skill and they’ve obviously worked very hard at their craft. They’re amazing. But they were able to give us the quick-n-dirty on acro yoga and within the first thirty minutes I was flying upside down. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that would happen. I figured we would mostly watch them and maybe do something really simple. In the pictures below, you’ll see the crazy positions they had us in. I’m still kind of shocked, but I can’t wait to do it again!
Sidenote: When I told my BFF’s that I was taking this class, they had every joke in the book – including information for the Orthopedics Department at the local emergency room. I’m not even kidding – of course it was all in good fun. But honestly, I think this would be a really cool girlfriends retreat experience. Because we had no idea what we were doing, we laughed sooo hard (we didn’t really bring tranquility to the class, but we’ll work on that next time I swear.) We also felt really great accomplishment when we landed a pose. It was the most uplifting environment. If you’re in good health, I would totally suggest giving this a try!
Thoughts from Lauren:
So, as you saw above, I was totally freaked out about this after I signed up and to be honest, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. One of my facebook friends was “interested” in this class, and I thought it would be a fun, different kind of yoga class to try. I am not a full on yogi, but have taken my fair share of meditative/restorative/bikram/prenatal yoga classes. Once I started googling pics to see what I was in for, I totally lost it. There was everything from 3 to 4 person pyramids to crazy bendy people in all kinds of unnatural positions. I immediately regretted my decision. For some unknown reason, I tried to get affirmation that I could do this from my husband and friends, but they immediately laughed me out of the room.
I was a basket case before I left the house; I was trying out poses with my 3 year old. Soooo, just a little insight into me, I like my personal space…the thought of randos holding me up with their FEET and vice versa, had me basically needing a paper bag to breathe into (I really didn’t think this through did I?!?!). Once Jill arrived and we made our way inside the yoga studio, everything was calm and serene. You know those times (like in school or church) where you aren’t supposed to laugh but you can’t control yourself?? Well, this was one of those times. It was laugh or cry – I was so out of my league.
As uncomfortable as I was going in, the instructors Angie and Nate, totally turned it around in the first five minutes. They were so knowledgeable and encouraging. It took an incredible amount of trust, focus and stability to take the first leap, but after that it was super fun. (My middle school cheerleading career didn’t hurt in helping me get up in some of these poses – I was definitely “pinching a penny”! Ha!) I hit my stride and the 2.5 hour workshop flew by. (I wasn’t even freaked out by the personal space issues!) I would totally recommend this class/workshop to anyone looking for something outside of the box. Here are some of the crazy/fun things we got into:
For more information on Acro Yoga check out Angie Edmunds at Yoga Power, LLC in Charleston, WV or her workshops at Studio 8 in Huntington, WV.
Namaste my friends. Cheers to a peaceful, fun, uplifting week.
Jill & Lauren