How do you get your boyfriend, who’s extremely uninterested in yoga, to practice yoga with you? Well, you tell him with a sweet smile, “It’s Valentine’s Day weekend and I signed us up for the Soul Fusion Yoga Workshop at One Down Dog.” He really has no choice, but to go with a smile and hopes of checking out other yoginis in their cute yoga outfits with his sly side-eye. You will obviously let it slide. He did happily agree to come with you and did not complain once.
Whatever it is that brings your unwilling significant other to your yoga class, you are happy that he is there. Soon he will realize that yoga is wonderful for both men and women, and that is it a hardcore workout that positively feeds your body and soul. It is a medicine that cures many ailments, as well as a bond that strengthens relationship with oneself.
In terms of partner yoga, or acro yoga, as we yogis call it; practicing yoga with someone you love intimately can be more rewarding and beneficial than couples therapy. When you are literally lifting the other person up and having to give them all of your trust, you are physically and mentally strengthening your bond between one another. It is both of your jobs to balance the weight evenly and stay solid and strong, otherwise you will topple over and tumble to the ground. If you fall, you fall together and you get back up and attempt to conquer that pose again with a different strategy.
The goal is to make the movements and poses seem easy and effortless. Much like relationships in life.
I have practiced acro yoga a handful of times before, so I was not a complete newbie, but I was by no means an expert. My boyfriend and I had once goofed around with a little acro yoga poolside, but nothing serious, so I counted this acro yoga experience as his first time.
Kristina and Joerael’s Soul Fusion workshop opened with a few vocal exercises such as stating what you had to offer the group, what you had to offer your partner, and an intention for yourself. Then we moved onto handholding with strangers and practicing feeling at ease by another persons touch. We played with giving and receiving trust, followed by a traditional yoga flow warm up and then we eased into learning some acro yoga moves.
When my boyfriend was the base and he was lifting me using his legs, our obstacle seemed to be his tight hamstrings. I found it to be a smoother experience when I was the base and he was the flyer. I have very strong legs and more open hamstrings
In my previous acro yoga experiences, I have been flown by advanced acro yogis and I have noticed, much like partner dancing, that the base must be the leader. They run the show and tell the flyer what to do. The flyer’s job is to stay solid, but at the same time graceful and loose enough to move around.
Throughout the workshop, my boyfriend and I had to be clear and communicative. I noticed when we started to blame one another for a pose failing. It was not one of our faults. It was both of our faults if it didn’t work. When we finally felt solid in Bird pose, it was because we both worked together to make it happen. This experience absolutely translates over into our everyday lives.
“The way you practice on your mat translates over into the way you live your life.”
I didn’t come up with that phrase. I’ve heard it repeated by many yoga teachers because it is the truest thing said about yoga.
All in all, we were not very graceful practicing acro yoga our first time. I hope we continue this as our new hobby and as a result our relationship might flourish. I’m even hoping that he will start to enjoy yoga. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll choose going to yoga with me over watching football and dinking a brew-ski. Hey, a girl can dream, right? Or just even get her way on Valentine’s Day weekend.