Gather round, friends. I have a confession . . .
The truth is: I'm a curmudgeon. Yup, it's true. For all the bright, bubbly blogging goodness shared here on OmGal.com, I still wrestle with plenty of your garden variety grumpiness on a daily basis. I simply choose not to subject you to it. (Do you really want to hear me whine about my parking tickets, personal relationship gaffes, recent bout of food poisoning, or the time last week when I nearly knocked myself unconscious on the Acela train after head-butting the overhead luggage bin? I'm thinking: probably not.). The goal of OmGal.com is to provide an online atmosphere filled with yoga and wellness inspiration and information. With that said, I take issue with yogis who put on airs that life is always perfect, filled with rainbows and doves and the implication that if you do not feel this way, well, then, you must not be a yogi. I'm sure you take issue with this too, so if you ever feel like this site is a oui bit too saccharin, feel free to call me on it.
Yoga enhances our lives, but it doesn't make us superhuman. The most yogic thing any of us can do in a given moment, on or off our mats, is to be authentic . . . Which brings me back to my original point: authentically speaking, I can be a chilly, reclusive, cranky, pain in the ass sometimes.
I'd like to blame the above on my New Englander heritage or our chilly winter weather at present. (Of course I'm a recluse; it's 4 degrees outside! Who wants to be social?), but that's no excuse. Just because the weather is frosty doesn't mean my attitude needs to follow suit.
Thankfully, I recently discovered a portal of yoga bliss that I want to share. It is Friday, I'm in Love after all, the semi-regular installment of people, places, or products that make me feel warm and fuzzy.
You heard right. This week's feature is an activity that managed to melt even my frigid New England soul. It's called Acro Yoga, a newly created blend of yoga and acrobatics, practiced with a partner, wherein students experience sensations of support, strength, and, yes, having the ability to fly.
Initially, I was skeptical of this style of practice, despite the fact that one of its most visible teachers is close personal friend Bonnie Argo (pictured above with fellow teacher Kadri Kurgun). Part of me is a recluse, remember? Therefore, I felt wary of sharing my yoga practice with someone else. Next, from what I had seen and heard, Acro seemed a bit too warm and fuzzy for me, a little too close for comfort, with all that hand-holding and possible sweat-dripping on each other. Finally, as an admitted yoga purist, I wondered if this yoga hybrid contained enough yoga for my taste.
Then, this cranky curmudgeon became a convert . . .
Class began and ended with some simple Vinyasa sequences to warm up and cool down, while the bulk of the class was comprised of movements ranging in difficulty and performed by two or more people. Disclaimer: my positive experience was definitely influenced by the fact that I was paired with my friend and former professional soccer playing goddess, Kate, of Lululemon (read: one strong chic who oozes inspiration). Together, we explored moves like the one above, despite both feeling at times scared, stretched, and skeptical. Yet, with gentle prodding and plenty of spotting by Bonnie and her team of Acro aces, we both experienced the joy of trying something new, exceeding expectations of ourselves and others, and discovering holy moly, we're pretty strong!
After class, I practically skipped home, down the icy sidewalks of Boylston Street, into another prematurely dark and frigid New England night, feeling warm and fuzzy all over. It seems that just as Boston was experiencing a cold snap, I snapped right out of my frosty ways.