I have been living in Bali for about two months now and though I know it sounds hard to believe, it hasn't all been sunshine and rainbows for me. This move has taught me that no matter if you are moving to Antarctica or Fiji, uprooting your Life and leaving behind your Home and everyone you know can still be a pretty emotionally heavy ordeal. And since arriving here I admit I have definitely been battling some loneliness and homesickness. Living this past year in St. John's, Newfoundland was such a treat and such an easy transition that I wasn't fully prepared for the transition of moving all the way across the globe to a country where I don't speak the language or know anyone.
So if the arrival of my Lovely friend Rhonda was just what I needed to lift my spirits, then attending this Flying Yoga class was the icing on the cake! I had attended an Acro Yoga seminar once before and played around with a few flying poses with other yogi friends and really enjoyed it, so when I saw it on the schedule at Radiantly Alive Yoga Studio I suggested we try it (this was Rhonda's first Acro Yoga session).
But I was completely unprepared for the level of connected-ness I felt to my partners (none of which ended up being my friend funnily enough). We started the session by introducing ourselves to the group, and a brief warm-up while sitting knee to knee in a circle on our mats. Next we linked arms and had to work as a group to stand as one unit, before walking the circle (created by our mats) periodically stopping and locking gazes with whomever was closest to us at the time. Ordinarily I would feel a bit funny holding someones gaze for more than a few seconds but this exercise made me feel filled with the light of the other persons smiling eyes. From there we split off into smaller groups of three and worked on Acro poses, consisting mostly of back bend variations like 'Whale'. Our groups were made up of a 'Base' (person is the point of contact with the ground), a 'Flyer' (person who is elevated off the ground by the Base) and a 'Spotter' (person with objective view of Base & Flyer ensuring safety for both). In order to perform the postures the three of us needed to work as a team, communicating and trusting that our group members would do their part and give us the support, guidance and leadership as we took turn playing each role within the poses. Before we sealed in our Practice with one last resounding Om we went back around the circle and shared something we felt we had learned or experienced during the session. I shared my experience of the Positive energy and connection flowing from one to the other as we practiced together.
Whale Pose Variation
Though practicing any form of Yoga technically makes you a part of the global yoga community, we often don't have the opportunity to connect with our fellow yogis in the everyday drop-in class. We might practice next to the same person for months and not ever even say hello. The beauty of Acro Yoga (and its' sister-style Partner Yoga) is that it brings yogis together to develop their practice in a direct, hands-on way, enabling you to step off your mat, build relationships with others, share some laughs and in turn gain perspective on the ups and downs of Life.
I left class that day feeling a redeveloped sense of belonging and connection to the Yoga Community at large. In the midst of my emotional ocean of loneliness I had been thrown a raft, and though I am sure there will still be moments of loneliness/doubt in the future as I continue my Balinese Adventures, I know and trust that I will never truly be alone. And if I get in really dire straights I can always high-tail it up to Ubud and take in another Flying Yoga class! ;)
For more information on Acro Yoga and to find a studio offering it near you click one of these links.
Until next time...
Be Happy, Eat Healthy!