Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Happy Acro Anniversary!

It was one year ago today that I had a yoga overdose.  I met a friend for a regular old outside yoga class.  Afterwards we stayed for a special laughter yoga class.  That was fun and silly and may have held a more special place in my life if it wasn’t for what came next.   As we finished our laughing we saw a bunch of crazy people doing super cool aerial gymnastic yoga type moves.  These moves were done with two or more people, one of which was in the air.  It looked amazing, fun and scary all at the same time.

I so wanted to try but I didn’t know anyone and it looked like you had to have a partner and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do any of it anyway.  I cans sometimes be a bit shy about approaching people but I was with a friend so I was slightly more confident and I really just had to know more about this.  So I somewhat bravely walked up to a couple and started asking questions.  The couple was sweet, very helpful and informative.  Not only did they explain that it was called acro yoga (acrobatic yoga) but they also took the time to do a few moves with my friend and I.  Before I knew it I was flying in the air doing the basic move called bird.  This felt awesome and liberating and exciting. Next thing I knew I was doing a bow pose 4 feet off the ground!  Next up was some odd moves on my back and then something with my shoulders on someone’s feet.  In the few minutes they worked with me I did several poses that I would have never thought I was capable of doing just minutes before.  I learned that I was called the flyer and the person on the ground is the base.  I was so excited and instantly hooked!  I joined the Facebook group immediately and watched a bunch of YouTube videos as soon as I got home. 

With so many other hobbies I don’t get to do acro nearly as much as I would like.  In the last year I’ve probably only played about 20 or so times.  But each time has been a great experience of meeting new people, learning more about the sport, challenging myself to improve, helping other newbies and  most of all having fun!   In the past year there have been some classes, some acro parties and many jams which is what we call it when acro monkeys (as we call ourselves) just want to get together and play.  There have also been a couple island acro camping weekends which were awesome and perfect for beautiful sunset acro pictures.  And I can’t forget the themed events where you dress in costume and do acro.  I have photos of Santa as my base which is super cool and sure to be next year’s Christmas card. 

I’ve learned a lot about the sport including the names of many different moves and how you should have your joints stacked which significantly reduces the weight for the base person.  I made a few new friends including one who is often my base and I’ve lost count of the number of acquaintances I’ve met.     

I’m not totally sure why I’m so drawn to acro.  I guess I like the artistic aspect as some of moves are beautiful to watch, especially when performed by very flexible people.  I like that it is often done outdoors which is always a plus in my book.  Also it is different from most of my other sports so it challenges me in different ways like being more flexible and graceful.  And it probably doesn’t hurt that random strangers like to stop and watch us and take our pictures.  It is kind of nice to get that attention and feel a bit like a rock star. 

Most sports I don’t remember when I got hooked but this one I surely do.  I’m happy to add it to my sports collection.  I now refer to the couple that helped me that first day as my acro mom and dad….which is a bit odd since they are like 15 years younger than me.

I’m still a beginner in this sport.  In the next year I hope to get more in to pops, whips and washing machines which are just cool terms for the next levels of new moves I can learn.  If you ever see this frenzy going on in your local park feel free to stop by and say hi.  Most acro people are friendly enough and will give you an introduction you won’t soon forget. 

Cat “Watch me Whip” Cathy

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