December 13, 2011

Acro Yoga CommUNITY.

Jon soars with Mel, photo by Simon Gentry

Have you ever flown a kid like an airplane, on your feet? Yeah? Well, I do that with adults. I fly them, like a kid. It’s the simplest explanation of what I do when I meet people outside the bubble of the acro yoga world. I’ve flown people in airports, stores, malls, museums, outside, inside, and just about anywhere you can think of. And, why not?! Just describing it does not compare with the fun of experiencing it.

When I get an opportunity to fly someone their first flight, I consider it a privilege. It’s like being someone’s first yoga teacher because they have nothing yet to compare it to. A blank slate. Offering them a therapeutic flying experience and observing the look of dazed bliss on their face when they float back to the ground, now that is pure mudita. Feeling vicarious joy or pleasure in delighting in their experience is slightly addictive.

I stumbled upon an acro yoga 3 years ago and was immediately hooked and haven’t looked back since. The little acro community where I am has been slow growth. A few self-less monkeys who just wanted to be upside down emerged this past summer and so began our weekly free jams. 

Yoga and community, 2 things that should be synonymous. Regrettably, what I’m observing is that we are creating mini tribes everywhere. I’ve witnessed others trying to build things on their own, little yoga empires and cringed at how it’s caused bitterness and division by showcasing themselves. Saddened by the unwillingness of a few and yet hopeful by the generosity of many who seem to be coming around to the virtues of connecting at city wide events. I would rather stand on the shoulders or legacy of my teachers than step on the heart of someone to get ahead in this highly competitive yoga environment.

Thai love for Dana, photo by Simon Gentry

commUNITY, photo by Simon Gentry

I believe you rise up and become a strong tribe when you seek to build it together. I have to admit, involving everyone and making them feel included is really hard work, often exhausting, in fact. I hope we’re making strides in being inclusive and not appearing exclusive. I don’t want to be just another yoga click. When someone comes into a jam, they should soar, fly! But, they should also know, it’s not about free flights. They should try and learn to fly others, be a supportive spotter & encourager and share with someone else the gift of flight. It’s the giving and receiving that creates powerful commUNITY.  A sangha or tribe of any lasting value and legacy has this.

This is my tribe.

the lovely Balushka bases Matt, photo by Simon Gentry

Sangha (Tribe)
Where have you discovered community in 2011? What are the defining characteristics and essential qualities of your tribe?


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