03 October 2013,14:36:59 BST
Over the summer I started playing around with Acro Yoga, a physical partner-based practice that, according to AcroYoga.org ‘blends the wisdom of yoga, the dynamic power of acrobatics and the loving kindness of healing arts’. I love yoga and I love spending time with my friend Anne, who is also a yogi, so it seemed a natural extension of our friendship to bring it onto the mat.
For me, doing yoga with a partner is about rediscovering the playfulness in my asana practice – during the past five years yoga has evolved from my favorite pastime into what I do for a living, and as such has become more serious. It is about building trust, in yourself, the situation and your partner. Through moving together on the mat you can discover the true blessing of real partnership – recognizing that the beauty of the final pose is greater than the sum of its individual parts, and that either you work together or everything falls apart.
Through working closely with others on the mat we can learn a lot about ourselves. Am I moving or being moved? Am I giving or receiving? Am I getting what I need by asking what I want? Do I allow myself to be supported?
But what really strikes me is that all the things we spontaneously said to each other during these sessions, such as ‘is this comfortable for you’, ‘where do you need me’, ‘lean back on me’ and ‘I’ve got you’ – are things that we should say more often in any partnership or friendship.
Cat Mathiesen is a Wellicious ambassador and Anne Maren Botnan is training to be a yoga teacher.
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