Like many, I ventured to the 41st annual Whole Earth Festival (WEF) last weekend to get my fill of eclectic music, vegetarian food, patchouli oil and people watching. But amidst all the standard hoopla, tie-dyed dresses, drum circles, and picnicking patrons was an unexpected adventure waiting for me.
They call it “Acro-yoga”, and I call it just about the coolest thing I’ve discovered in a long time. It opened me up to a whole new way to experience movement and massage. I found acro-yoga at the WEF in a very accidental way; by watching a group of unassuming acro-yogis “fly” through the air on the grass at Wellman Hall.
Within minutes I too found myself “flying”, which is what you do when you are the acro-yogi being supported by your partner’s feet and hands (the base) and getting twisted and guided into fun and yoga postures. For me, it was all smiles!
Acro yoga is a delicious blend between Thai Massage, yoga and, of course, acrobatics. Jakop Roope, an acro-yogi from Reno, NV, was guiding a group of local and bay area acro yogis to causally showcase their craft and practice for Sunday’s performance. He was even kind enough to spend some time teaching me some techinques. Even after a few minutes of acro-yoga, I felt physical and mental calmness. It completely harmonized my experience with yoga and massage, but brought a new perspective to familiar concepts. Massage itself is great, but massage while hanging upsidown on somebody legs and going into yoga postures: fabulous!!In a word: FUN!
Hungry for more, I returned on Sunday to watch a more formal performance with a mix of local and regional acro-yogis. The performance was stunning: creative, atheletic, and fun! Even better, these openhearted performers welcomed guests to come on stage and ‘fly’. You can bet that I was first in line!
Looking for local acro-yoga? Rumor has it that UC Davis offera acro-yoga through the Experimental College and you might get a taste of it if you have some bodywork with Jeffry Kay, a local massage practitioner at the Davis Holistic Health Center. Jeffery was my ‘base’ on Saturday and his mix massage with the yoga left me refrheshed and well stretched.
The experience was unexpected and unconventional. It brought new perspectives to sense of body awareness. It reminded me of the importance of getting out of my ‘box’, especially when it comes to doing activities that authentically make me happy. Isn’t there some addage that states “do something everyday that scares you” for good health…yep, I think this qualifies!
Find an acro-yoga practitioner by visiting the Acro-yoga website.