Updated: Mar 16, 2022
I was drawn to acro yoga because it is a fun way to connect with my partner authentically.
I find myself playing as a kid, pure and unencumbered. No intention or outside motivation other than to simply be in the moment. Exactly as it is.
As such, it is a beautiful part of the acro yoga practice.
Acro yoga is a moving meditation. When I play, I let go of any distractions and live in the moment.
I do not think about what I will eat for dinner or what I will wear to the party tonight. I am not concerned with how many likes that I received on my latest Instagram post or if I have received a new Facebook message.
I am purely in the moment. It is beautiful.
The experience is between my partner and me. We connect, intermingle, roll around, and smile together.
Truly living in the moment begins when I am present in that moment, experiencing it and taking it all in. I am not judging, analyzing, or even thinking because I am doing, I am playing.
I both give to and receive from the experience. I contribute myself and receive my partner. We play together and build off one another to create a unique moment in time that can only be lived together.
However, when I finish with my practice, I often notice that I critique myself on how to do acro yoga better.
How do I base better? What can I do to be a better partner? Where are my weakest areas?
There is always something that comes to mind that I “messed up” and can improve on. At this point, it is no longer about playing in the moment but instead about judging myself on how to improve.
But yes, of course, I want to improve!
I want to be better at the things that I do. I know that you do too.
I am driven to be the best that I can be in everything that I do, but this desire comes with a cost: when I am trying to be better, I am not living in the moment of playing, rather living in the moment of being better.
Don’t get me wrong, by no means is this a bad thing. Both have a place and are valuable in their own ways.
The trap is set when acro yoga practice just becomes about making the pose picture-perfect or nailing the washing machine. The practice turns into perfection training as I repeat, analyze, and refine every foot position, handgrip, and transition.
I bring out my camera for video reviews. I ask others to give me feedback. I watch and re-watch YouTube videos for every little detail of foot placement and body positions.
Every session that I do this, I do get better. Practice makes progress.
But does it?
Training this way is very different from playing. My partner and I tend to be more critical of one another when we train. We focus so hard on the outcome that we neglect the journey.
Our communication begins to break down as we blame the other when we fall. We no longer laugh and joke when we collapse while doing 4-step or when I completely misstep monkey-frog. The unencumbered fun that once drew us together begins to fade, replaced by perfectionism.
This is not a bad thing. Both playing and training have a place. Training is important so that I get better. Playing is important so that I don’t lose sight of why I started acro yoga in the first place.
I make time for both. If I only train, then it becomes work. If I only play, then I will not get better. I do my best to keep it light and fun while still improving.
The most important thing is to have fun in the moment!
After all, acro yoga is amateur acrobatics, at best, sprinkled with yoga.
Don't take it so seriously. ;)