Monday, January 02, 2017

AcroLove Festival (Hand-to-Hand, Needles and a King's Pendulum)

On New Years Day, Tori and I attended the AcroLove Festival at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina. It is a three day event, but we decided that for our first AcroYoga festival, our bodies could probably only handle one day of four 1-1/2 hour classes. I threw my back out the weekend before on Christmas Eve so I was worried if I would hold up for the entire day but my chiropractor fixed me up and my back felt fine.

Session 1 (Beginner Hand-to-Hand taught by Acro Superheros) - While Tori has flown Hand-to-Hand successfully a few times with more experienced bases, I have never based it. The best thing we learned in class was the proper techniques to transition from Star to the Hand-to-Hand position. Tori and I got close by the end, holding a half second balance before she would fall out of it. After the class, we mixed with the more advanced students on the opposite mats and I had a chance to base a more skilled flyer, balancing her for 10 seconds. It felt so good!

Session 2 (Step into the Flow with Melanie Ladybase) -
We had planned to take the Whips class with Josh Young and Kaija Magee but it was cancelled. (We were a bit disappointed since we had spent so much time working on the PreReqs, a Back Bird to Straddle Bat and then pushing through the legs to Reverse Bird.) We ended up working on King's Pendulum instead in Melanie's class. It is a hard hands-free washing machine that transitions from Throne to Mono Back Bird to Outside Side Star and back to Throne. While we learned how to pop up into Throne without hands for the first time, we had a hard time with the last two transitions. The video below is of me struggling to switch Tori from Mono Back Bird to Outside Side Star. You really need a good spotter when you can't use your hands to stabilize the flyer. With more practice during our weekend jams at AR, I think we will get it soon.

Session 3 (Needle Variations with Patrick Reiner and Kelly Thayer) - Before taking this class, Tori and I could only hold the Needle, an expert-level shoulder stand, for about 2-3 seconds. It is much harder to balance with Tori's hands at her side instead of holding onto my forearms. Tori learned a better way to exit out the back and the correct body position to allow more transitions in the future like Needle to Side Star. By the end, were holding the Needle consistently for 5+ seconds and adding more difficulty with leg straddles and arm twists. We were also shown Blooming Seed, a shoulder stand that slowly transitions from Shoulder Stand A to Needle. I can't wait to try it in the future.

Session 4 (Flying Yoga and Circle Thai with Whakapaingia Luke) - Tori really wanted to take the Adagio class of standing counterbalance poses, but my back did not like it after a couple attempts so we went over to the Partner Thai Massage class. After taking turns massaging each other, we partnered up with another couple for some double basing where two people fly one person. Normally, I only base but I also took a turn up in the air stretched out in a relaxing pose.

After the last class, everyone gathered to end the festival, applauding all our teachers and forming a large circle to stretch out our tired muscles one last time after a long day of AcroYoga. I am looking forward to the next AcroLove during the summer. Next time, I would like to attend at least two days. Today, my legs are very sore but my back feels great!

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