Acro Yoga or Relationship Therapy?


My husband and I took a flying yoga (or acro yoga) class a little while ago. Now, my husband is a good supportive man and loves to come to my yoga classes, but by no means will you ever find him doing it on his own. Still, I thought it would be a fun thing for us to do together, as anything that adds a little novelty to the day in- day-out routine of mother/father/husband/wife/(and all the other titles) is imperative to my (our) sanity and happiness.

Plus, I'll be honest, my one "lost" dream is that I always wanted to be in the circus and acro yoga is just enough Cirque Du Soleil to somewhat satisfy that.

The class was in a Bikram yoga studio. Even though the heat had been turned off, it was still pretty toasty. I was comfortable, my husband was drenched within ten minutes. I wondered if it was a bad idea...

My friend Allowah was teaching. He is a beautiful soul and a wonderful yogi. He is also Gumby incarnate. We started with some sun salutations and basic yoga to warm up and then Allowah demonstrated some of the partner yoga. Again I wondered if we should be there. Patrick is strong, but not flexible, and I certainly couldn't hold him in a lot of the positions because of how much bigger he is than me.

We did it anyway, modifying what we needed to, and as I had hoped it was fun. Really fun. I felt like a kid playing. My husband had fun playing. We played together.Now this is the thing, and sometimes I forget it, you must PLAY in relationships. Seriously. Play the way you did in the beginning, before life piles on an endless heap of endless things to do, before you're so exhausted from kids, dogs, work and cleaning that you forget how important it is to make time to just be with each other, before you knew each other too well, before annoyances or resentments had time to anchor themselves between the two of you. Remember those times of play and lightness, those times of sweet unspoiled love? Hold on to it.

My husband and I have been together for a long time. I met him when I was twenty and have spent over a decade, over a third of my life with this one man. We have been through it all, as relationships tend to when they last a long time. Sometimes it has been really hard, and sometimes it's felt perfect. After this many years I realize how important those moments of play are. How the times we barely made it through were barren of them, and how quickly a moment of laughter, of fun, of adventure together can un-weight my heart (and his) when it grows heavy.

So this is what I did in flying yoga. I played with my husband. I enjoyed him supporting me, learning how to hold me and balance me, and in what ways I stretched, and when to be gentle. I enjoyed having to trust that he would not drop me, or hurt me, because sometimes I can hold my trust a little too tightly to my chest, and it's good every once in a while to have something pry my hands open. I enjoyed laughing and spinning and hanging upside down, the freedom of not having my feet planted firmly on the ground where they are supposed to be.

Funny how some things can be so much more than they are. Flying yoga, acro yoga, partner yoga, circus training, therapy: PLAY!

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