Even though it might look like an adventure novel, don’t judge a yoga book by it’s cover. AcroYoga isn’t just a simple combination of Acrobatics or Yoga. After six years of sharing what I’ve come to call the "Yoga of Trust" in over 30 countries, I’ve learned there is more to teaching a dynamic practice than the pursuit of community through divine play.
1. Motion is predictable. Emotion is not.
Momentum, inertia, and direction are fairly straightforward concepts. Feelings and emotion are often subject to change at a moment's notice without warning. Fine tune your understanding of both through constant observation, patience, and attention to detail.
2. Most people are control freaks.
A lot of tension builds up in our bodies from carrying all excess baggage—physical, emotional, or otherwise. A large part of practicing the Yoga of Trust is learning to take control by letting go. From one freak to another: choosing to relax isn’t about giving up power, but giving in to your desire to be moved.
3. Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly.
Avoid rushing to avoid mistake and injury. When was the last time you heard someone say “I got hurt because I was going too slow?”
4. It’s only a mistake if you don’t learn from it.
To paraphrase Douglas Adams: “The knack of flying is essentially learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” This practice of AcroYoga, of the Yoga of Trust, provides valuable tools for learning how to land safely when taking large steps outside of your comfort zone.
5. Balance is the midpoint between two extremes.
Yoga finds strength through alignment. Acrobatics finds alignment through strength. Yogis flex their feet, acrobats point their toes. Life obviously isn’t black and white, but it’s much easier to understand color by identifying both ends of the spectrum.
6. Gravity always wins.
What goes up, must come down. Muscles tire. Bones don’t. Instead of relying on muscle to carry weight, use them to move the bones in support of your structure.
7. Trust is learned, then earned.
While the concept of trust is fairly straightforward— the belief that something that you can’t see or directly experience will be there when needed—the actual of practice is far more challenging. In order to truly know, one must experience firsthand. Building trust in your self through action will both inspire it in and from others, hence the term “Trustworthy."
8. Therapeutics are meant to make someone feel good, not create a reason to feel someone up.
Trust recognizes and honors vulnerability. The proper intention is necessary to ensure your touch is healing and not creepy. The key to creating safe space is understanding the vast difference between compassionate and passionate intimacy.
9. It’s not about basing and flying, but giving and receiving.
Size doesn’t matter, intention does. Don’t think in terms of big people picking up small people. Think about two people moving together. Give yourself the chance to let someone receive your weight. Take the opportunity for someone to create shared movement with you.
10. AcroYogis are people, too.
Yes, I’m a powerful and experienced base. No, I’m tired and don’t feel like flying you right now. You asked politely, and I declined with compassion. I’m sorry, did you say you haven’t had a ride yet? Do I look like a freaking bicycle?
“But Daniel,” you could exclaim, “I’m too [small/ weak / inflexible / shy / cool for school / etc.] to do this!” With an attitude like that, you probably always will be.
Trust more, fear less, live forever or die trying.
Are you moving or being moved? Share some thoughts about trust in the comments below!