Our Fly Over City
BY DEBBY SIEGEL
There are people flying all over St. Louis.
Playing with a partner form of yoga that boosts human connection, playfulness, trust, and has been shown to increase the frequency of giggles for those who participate, these people are discovering the joys of AcroYoga.
A fusion of acrobatics, yoga and healing arts, AcroYoga is taking over our fair city, transforming this town from a midwest land of ordinary folk into an evolved community of fit, fun-spreading, aeronautical superpeople. By physically connecting to, and relying on the communication with, another person you grow exponentially as a human. The earmarks of AcroYoga – physical touch, accurate communication, and increased trust – dictate this transformation.
Now, you may be already inclined to come up with ways in which you feel unsuited for this trifecta of sports, but we are here to tell you that AcroYoga is approachable and attainable regardless of your skill set. You need not be a master gymnast, circus acrobat, or seasoned yogi to enjoy it. You don’t even need a set partner. Classes and jams (free gatherings of various skill-leveled acro yogis) gather people together to learn, support, climb, dangle and fly in trusting groups all around St. Louis. We collected a roster of AcroYoga classes and jams currently available about our town in this blog post and would love to see you at one soon!
This Boulder Tedx Talks video describes Acro and the community that it builds nicely:
The word AcroYoga comes from the Greek root Akros = high, and the Sanskrit word Yoga = union. So there you have it. Let’s get high and unite!
Acro Yoga practices consist of:
BASE: the person with the most points of contact on the ground who is responsible for supporting the flyer.
FLYER: the person who is elevated and supported by the base.
SPOTTER: In AcroYoga classes, the critical spotter helps guide or catch the flyer if he/she loses balance.
Girls – We’ve found it helpful to wear fitted clothes that are more cotton-based and not slick. You will be upside down at times, so loose-fitting shirts tend to get in the way.
Guys – Wear durable, very flexible bottoms that do not slide around on your skin when basing or flying. You’ll need to get your legs anywhere they need to be without your clothes constricting your movement.
Aside from your willingness to experience new levels of endorphin-loaded fun and to meet new friends, you’ll need a yoga mat or other cushiony ground cover. Acro bases need a comfortable surface from which to hoist flyers. We’ve seen interlocking gym floor mats, blankets, and even moving blankets used to protect the base’s backside. And of course, staying hydrated is important in any physical exercise, so we suggest bringing water too.
By playing with this practice, you will find you have to put your trust in another person. You have to communicate your needs to a partner. These skills will carry over into your daily life, helping you connect on a deeper level to everyone. Maslow and Freud would love Acro Yoga. (We see Maslow basing.)
We gathered the local information together here to help you find places to get your Acro on this winter. In the warmer months, Acro jams take place in parks from Tower Grove Park (at the corner of Grand and Arsenal) to Botanical Gardens to Forest Park. To stay in touch with the St. Louis area Acro community, link to and join any of the Facebook groups below:
Facebook Groups for Acro Yoga in St. Louis:
Warning, partaking in an Acro session may lead to excess glee, a stronger physique and long term friendships. So get ready to play like kids, and enjoy unforgettable lessons in communication and trust when you find us in one of these many opportunities to play and connect in St. Louis:
Happy Flying St. Louis SuperPeople!
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