Every week I am asked when I will be doing a workshop. And every week I reply..."soon."
Last week I was lucky enough to do some more acroyoga in the studio with Richard. Due to time / space / full-up schedule's we haven't been able to practice for a few weeks. Both of us were incredibly surprised at how easy it felt and how fluid, fast and strong the movements and transitions were. It is so liberating to be upside-down and moving in directions guided by another. I adore the element of trust that base and flyer have with and around each other.
After some exhilarating and well-executed "drills" Richard suggested we do some gentle stretches with each other. Usually these are done as "warm-ups" ahead of the dynamic, moving aerial positions in order to create a bonding through movement as well as understanding where the self (centre) is at the given time. This calibration is fundamental in attaining a proper balance between both partners and where either one checks him / herself back to the other's given position and so on.
What became apparent as soon as the floor-based partner stretches began was how incredibly satisfying it was to explore range of movement whilst being supported by the cushioned floor and with applied compression from Richard's bodyweight above. Not only that, by using the firm, supportive surface to stretch against the immediacy of pressure available to me as my body moved on top of it allowed me to discover a new depth as the muscles opened and Richard's mass supplied a gentle force...as and when required. I was stunned at how the millimetres of "opening" allowed me to release completely into the stretches and I gained even more unchartered depth.
This feeling is so rewarding; completely passive and fulfilling at the same time. It was as if a new dimension was being offered to me, a discovery of a part of my body that was fresh, alive, exhilarating. I can't fully explain to you how this combination of "liberating and astonishment" is totally intoxicating. But what I can share is that it left me almost giddy with pleasure and a huge hunger to experience it over again.
It is important to state that although partner yoga relies on there being two people in the partnership, they do not have to be a) partners, b) the same size or c) good at yoga. However, what is necessary a) an open-ness to explore one's own ability, b) the partnership is approached with integrity, sensitivity and trust, and c) space and a mat.
Richard is 6'3" and I am 5'6", our weight and physical abilities are hugely different, and no, we are not partners. But without a doubt, the partner-yoga work has brought about an additional layer to our friendship and as a result, a fuller movement vocabulary between us.
And so, it is without further ado (and much pleasure) that I can inform you that a "Partner Workshop" will be taking place on a weekend in September (date to be confirmed). Places will be limited to five pairs and the workshop will be 2.5 hours. Please do make contact via the contact form if you would like to attend. Additionally, you can follow on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to see how this brilliant event goes!