When the morning temperature is already 28°C then a quick yoga flow on the rooftop comes so easy. Suddenly back bending becomes a pure joy without too much effort.
Urdhwa Dhanurasna - upward facing bow pose, also known as Chakrasana - wheel pose, has always been a real challenge for my yoga practise. The reason: my back does not like to bend very easily unless I am really warmed up or the climate is generally warm like here in Bangkok. Back-bending in winter in Europe is just not as much fun.
Especially my lower back is very straight - which can be great - but it is also stiff and doesn't have much flexibility. While physiotherapists have told me this is a blessing compared to problems of hyperflexibility - it is of course also a restriction specially in AcroYoga where some transitions or positions are just easier and more beautiful with a good backbend.
But also forward bending with a straight lower back is more of a challenge. Rolling up from a standing forward bend vertebra by vertebra is something I just can't feel in the lumbar spine. The only thing that helped so far has been some very efficient Pilates exercises that I can highly recommend. Trying not to use my belly muscles has helped me finding more strength in my pelvic floor and activating Mulabhanda to compensate and support in a better way.
All in all I have learned to listen to my body with more respect and accepting my boundaries without pushing them to achieve a certain goal. Finding variations that work for my body has been the most rewarding practise and helped me appreciate the benefits of not being perfect and finding more authenticity in everything I do or try to accomplish.
Gomukhasana - Cow Face Pose (legs)
The cow 🐮 is a very holy animal in India / Hinduism and there are many reasons why. Just one of then is that cows are very peaceful and calm animals, the perfect manifestation of Ahimsa: non-violence! In India you find many cows standing undisturbed in the middle of the traffic just quietly roaming the crazy busy streets. They symbolise great tolerance and patience and therefore also stand for Dharma - living a meaningful & good life.
Garudasana 🦅 - Eagle Pose (arms)
This is a very powerful & challenging balancing pose named after the eagle who is also the vehicle of lord Vishnu - the aspect of divinity which sustains the universe! The intertwined eagle arms are representing the beak of this beautiful creature standing for freedom and seeing the world from a different perspective - the bigger picture from above!
Getting into Reverse Star was one of the bigger challenges in my AcroYoga practice. In this position specially it is so important to have a good connection, verbal and non-verbal communication between base and flyer. The tempo must be right otherwise the jump will fail. But also the foot position, the direction of the jump, pushing through the hands... so many details to consider...
Overwhelming in the beginning but the most important: not giving up, having a good laugh about all the failures and then giving it a break... but keep on trying with many different partners! Learning every time another lesson. What works with one doesn't work with the other... until finally you jump and you are up up up :D and never want to come down again from the natural high of AcroYoga ;)
photos: Chiang Mai, Thailand, awesome base: Annetta Lu from Bern, Switzerland
Lisa Looping loves to fly high! Aerial Yoga, AcroYoga and Hula Hoops are her true passion. This blog is about her teaching and travels to deepen her own practise and share it with others.