I am crazy in love with yoga. It makes me a happier, more balanced person. It allows me to take deep breaths, even when life is moving too quickly. (Did anyone else’s little one start kindergarten this year? gulp 🙂 It helps me see things from different angles And most of all it is a way for me to take care of myself physically, emotionally, internally, psychologically.
This summer I was craving something new with Yoga, so I took an Arial – aka acro- Yoga class. It took yoga to another amazing level for me. The class I took was at Mindful Turtle in Montauk, NY. Marissa Mcnaughton is one of my favorite (traditional) yoga teachers and she led this class for us. (there aren’t many certified aerial yoga teachers) There were only 7 people in the class, because at this studio only that many silk swings can be anchored into the ceiling at any given time. This allowed for intense, personal instruction and a feeling of such calm and quiet as we all focused on getting to know yoga in a swing.
The silk cocoon swing hangs from a strong anchor point in the ceiling and can hold our full body weights. The way you see the swing in the photo above, it is in a scrunched up style for this flying pose. The silk also opens to a full cocoon, so that I can fit my entire body into it. Almost any pose you can imagine can be done using the swing. I was able to sit on it (although that was a little uncomfortable on my bum), stretch one leg at a time in it (unreal deep stretch), lay my waist over it and hang upside down it. I could even stand in it and bend backwards. Wild!
It is an awesome feeling to pose in Downdog, with the swing resting at my waist and my hands and arms reaching for the floor. The stretch is so deep, and it feels like the teacher is pressing down on me, but it is just my own body weight working extra hard. In the inverted poses like handstand, my hands would reach for the ground and my legs would wrap up through the poles of the swing, and I felt light and free, while getting a surreal blood-rush to my head. When I lifted up (carefully) I felt more clear-headed than ever before. I guess thats what a massive dose of oxygen to the head does 🙂
There were two magical aspects of this aerial yoga class: the first was the deep, solo stretching that the swing allowed me to achieve. The second is a little bit less tangible, but so satisfying: I tried something new. It was difficult and it was challenging. It took me out of my comfort zone, experimenting with weightlessness and flying. How crazy lucky is that?
We are always on the hunt for the “natural-highs” at DreaminGreenGirl. It’s one of the things that feels important to give our daughters (as well as ourselves). It set me up for a new direction with yoga, giving me the jump I needed to re-commit to a daily practice and it also reminded me that I need to find ways for my kids to feel the excitement of something new and daring. (besides how cool is their mom if she can fly? 🙂
I send wishes out to you and the universe that you and our daughters find their natural highs for this coming year!