Tuesday, July 8, 2014

On aerial yoga and stepping into my own skin.

(note: this post has been sitting in my drafts folder FOREVAH. As in, at its inception there was still multiple feet of snow on the ground. A lot has changed since I wrote it --example: I started training for a half marathon!-- but still, these words ring true so hey! let's chat about them, you know?) 

The body I live in right now is very different from the body I lived in two years ago... is very different from the body I lived in five years ago, and seven years ago, and ten years ago... and you see where I'm going here.

I recently added aerial yoga to my workout repertoire, and let me tell you-- it's kicking my Capital-B Bootay in more ways than one. I leave the studio every time with the weirdest sensation of being a bag of jelly bones + this crazy strong, zen'd-out acrobat. Also? It's forced me to face my body head-on.
note: this is not aforementioned swan pose. bummer. but do
you know how difficult it is to take selfies during class? sigh. 
In class the other week, I was struggling with swan pose-- hooking the silks over my hips and letting myself fly forward, held only on a literal wing (the pose is modeled on a swan, after all) and a prayer. I settled into a rhythm, hands clasped and hips squared, up on my tip toes, ready to fly... and I couldn't. Scratch that-- I wouldn't. The thought of taking my feet off the ground suddenly went from basic motor movement to insurmountable everest of a task. I leaned in, and felt the pressure on my hips. Nope, ease off. Took another step forward, ready to go. Nope. Whether that block was physical or mental, I don't know (though I have a sneaking suspicion it was both, as most things are). 

"Just go for it," I heard my friend call from the hammock next to mine. "It feels so much better when you just let go." I laughed and threw something like a 'nice metaphor, what are you-- writing my blog post for me?' back at her, but of course she was right.

It doesn't matter if my body looks like that tiny pixie instructor or the mama-of-three swinging in the hammock next to me-- in fact, I'd rather have neither. I'd rather show up in my own skin and see what happens. It didn't take me long to pull off a swan all by myself-- in fact, only one class later I was swinging with ease, flipping into poses I hadn't yet dreamed I could do. My ever-wise friend was right, of course-- it happened so easily when I just let go. In the meantime, I'm enjoying seeing what this body can do. Who knows what it'll be like in two months, five months, a year-- I'm only interested in the here and now, really. I only want to pull myself up against the force gravity and see what it feels like to be supported solely by myself. And fly, of course.