Not a bad way to get over a fear of heights! Today I’m grateful for my first aerial yoga experience – inverted badha konasana and full splits six feet off the ground were fun highlights. The swinging back and forth was *not!*
It was a nuanced brew of Cirque du Soleil, pranayam, asana, and a call to integrate grace outside the studio as well – not much more of a modern hybrid yoga experience than that. Of course there is some part of me that once cringed when I heard about the “tainting” of yoga’s purity. And then I think to myself, wait just a minute, *I’m* a hybrid, or a “hapa,” as we say in Hawaiian. Because I’m only part Japanese, Irish, Portuguese, Hawaiian, German Jew, does that make me a diluted version of something else? And since yoga is so much more than asana, does it really matter how we exercise our sacred physical temples, so long as it’s mindfully and with intention?
Yoga’s roots are strong, and a little bit of cross-breeding is bound to occur after so many thousands of years . . . so long as we’re careful not to go all “GMO” on the practice.
All in all, the aerial yoga experience (at Om Factory in NYC) was far from meditative, what with all the semi-constant fear of falling and wondering where to put my hands to avoid such a tragedy! Though at the same time, I learned quite a bit about my limits, and was able to trump the temptation of ignorant judgement by jumping in with a beginner’s mind and simply trying it out.
So, cheers, Aerial Yoga! I won’t be back soon, but it was a fulfilling experience . . .