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Svadhyaha & Acro
Wow...January was a long year, but we made it and are now starting March! (Wipes brow...) I ended 2018 with a bang, participating in the festivities of First Night Missoula in a fun acro piece. I choreographed and performed for First Night onlookers with an acquaintance of mine and also go to lead some fun acro workshopping to help inspire others to join in on the activity
that has become such a wonderful part of my life. Acro is one of those things that people love to watch, but they typically say, “Oh, I could never...”.
I’m here to challenge that hesitation.
When you see something that others are doing, and you wish you could do it, but “could never”, ask yourself a question. Is it true that you “could never” do it, or is it true that you “will never” do it UNLESS you decide to take that step. You see, acro will make you strong. It will push you. It will change you, inside and out. And, you will laugh. You will make friends. You will look in the mirror after a year and see someone who not only can do acro, but who DOES acro.
You can do acro. You can do yoga. You can do the, “I could never”. You can.
The next question, one only you can answer is...when will you begin? The sooner, the better, because there is that pesky learning curve that only time transforms. This is what it looks like: First, you step into the studio at Inner Harmony on Monday evening at 7:15. You’ll see other people, and we’ll smile at you and welcome you. We’ll do some kick-butt handstand conditioning designed to strengthen your body, juicen the joints, and warm your muscles so that we can play. It will be hard. It’s supposed to be hard, so that it can make us strong. The body speaks to us and gives the feedback that it is working by noting the awesomeness we are feeling. BIG awesomeness. We get comfortable with balance and safe touch. We get familiar with trust. And we laugh. And we sweat. And we get STRONG together. They say time flies when you’re having fun. With acro, I blink and hours have passed. It’s beautiful. The mind lets go, and the body gives in and then gives back.
At home, you sink into a bath of warm water, mineral salts and your favorite essential oil, and you feel excited to do it again. Your muscles start to crave it. You start noticing that you are practicing those hard conditioning skills at home, just so you can get better at holding your shape, and the shape of others. Acro is the coolest thing to get addicted to.
Maybe 2019 will be the year you stop wishing you would/or could, and will turn acro or even yoga and acro into the most funnest activity you do every week. It’s the most fun ever. To be honest, the fact that I get to do this as a grown up makes the corners of my mouth turn up into the most amazing thing ever. Smiles like that are awesome.
It’s also right in line with our needs in this season of aligning with the practice of Svadhyaya--the practice of self study. Let me explain; I believe that we are affected by our environments. The science is behind me on this, by the way. From behavioral sciences to cellular research, our environments affect our mood, our appetites, our outcomes. The temperature around us, the quality of the light spectrum, the interactions we have with our surroundings, all of it affects how we feel. How we behave.
In the winter, our tendency is to pull inward, melding into the routine of warm covers and sluggish mornings. Our metabolisms slows in order to resist losing our holiday layer of warmth. We may feel tired. Absent minded. And, sadly, one of the reasons our “holiday resolutions” tend to go awry is that we fail to pay heed to the power of a sluggish environment. It’s hard to venture out into the cold when you are already...cold. So, sometime in February or March, the packed gyms of January have lost their resolution hype, and only the people who maintain a devoted steady pace, a warming pace, remain. So, because there is a high rate of reconsidering that goes along with resolutions as environment and reality set in, I prefer to think of my resolutions in July...when we have warmth on our side.
In the winter, I like to align with my meditation and my yoga, and look in the mirror for the practice of self study, Svadhyaya. It’s good to look in the mirror and really notice ourselves. When I do that, I actually like to feed myself a, “Nice Thing Sandwich”. That’s when you tell yourself a nice thing on each end, and then give yourself something to chew on in the middle. So, I always start with, “What am I doing well?” and, “What am I hitting out of the park?” I want to notice where I am succeeding. I want to pay attention to what I’m doing well. We all like positive reinforcement...but we also need attention. If we don’t pay attention to what is being done well, our egos will find other ways to get attention, right? We need to be seen. We deserve to be seen.
Then, I give myself the substance. The opportunity for growth and permission for change. I ask, “What is something I can work on? To be a better human? What is something I can do to be a better partner, to be a better father/mother, a better son/daughter? A better sibling? A better team player? A better friend?”
“What can I work on, to be a better, happier human?”
And then what is something else you are hitting out of the park? Where are you succeeding? How are you a good friend? A good mother or father? How are you good at what you are already doing? How are you already rocking your life?
That’s it, a “Nice Thing Sandwich”.
They are delicious. I highly recommend feeding yourself one at least quarterly. I hope one of the things you explore, if you’ve been wistfully wondering if you could ever do acro, is to know that it is right here waiting for you. You can do it. We will help you as you learn, grow, and expand. It’s just another wonderful way Inner Harmony is supporting your journey to make this life your best. Fly. Be strong. Be the Breath.