If you've been looking for a new activity for you and your partner to experience, or a way to strengthen your relationship, you may want to consider AcroYoga.
AcroYoga is a form of partner yoga where you both stride for therapeutic release and acrobatic strength.
Upon finding yourself in difficult poses, you learn on how to communicate verbally and non-verbally, deepen the trust in your partner, connect through your energy levels, and have a rewarding experience after the class is through.
How else can AcroYoga be healthy for your relationship?
Senior AcroYoga and yoga instructor, Arianne Traverso, joins Melanie Cole, MS, to discuss the overall benefits of AcroYoga, as well as how it can deepen your relationship with your partner.
RadioMD Presents:Health Radio | Original Air Date: June 1, 2015
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest: Arianne Traverso
This is Health Radio with Melanie Cole.
MELANIE: If you have been looking for a new activity for you and your partner to experience or a way that you can strengthen your relationship, you may want to consider Acroyoga. It's a form of partner yoga where you both strive for therapeutic release and acrobatic strength. It sounds very interesting to me and my guest today is Arianne Traverso. She is a senior Acroyoga and yoga instructor based out of Miami, Florida.
Welcome to the show, Arianne.
So, tell us a little bit about Acroyoga. What is it and how does it play a role in helping relationships to kind of become more successful and trustworthy and get to know your partner a little bit better?
ARIANNE: Great. Well, thank you for having me on the show. Basically, the essence of relationship is communication, it is trusting your partner. So, when we relate this through this awesome practice called Acroyoga, we create this dynamic communication of physical and verbal as well as fun and trying out new things together. Acroyoga is an amazing practice that blends the wisdom of yoga, which is ancient practice with the fun aspect and the strength aspect of the acrobatics, and the healing arts especially of Thai massage. So, when these three amazing lineages came together about over ten years ago, the practice kind of exploded throughout the world. And because of, like I, said this essence of needing to be able to trust someone when, you know, you are kind of hanging on their feet or whether you are doing a Thai massage move, which is up-close and personal, where you touch and where you're think about healing then you kind of open up new doors for exploration. And it's exploration within ourselves as well as exploration with our partner.
MELANIE: So, give us an example. How does -- first of all, it’s about mostly we women getting our man to even come to something like this. And so, there is a challenge right there. We get the guy to come and he agrees to come and does he have to wear yoga pants? Does he bring a mat, wear bare feet? You know, what do we tell our guys about coming there and what can we expect from the class?
ARIANNE: Well, all of the above. Yes, you should wear comfortable clothing. You might not need a mat because sometimes these Acroyoga classes are outside in the park or it's a studio so sometimes you need to bring a towel or the studio will provide the mat for you to lay on. You are bare foot and then, basically, what we do is we usually start the class in a circle so that everybody is on an even playing field, as you want to say. You know, are we are able to connect to each other through just being in the space where we are getting ready for all embark on this journey. And usually the classes, again, like I said, they could be more on the therapeutic aspect or more on the acrobatic aspect. You know, we’ll start with the fun warm up so that maybe it's not just you and your partner but other people in the class because it’s not just for partners, it's for everybody. So some people come with their friends, I've had some people bring their moms, but a lot of people do come to explore with their husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend. And we start with warm up, get everybody kind of like loosened up a little bit. Usually, there is laughter involved because we tend to be bit of a funny crowd at the young teachers and then we start getting into the practice itself which will be usually in groups of two, if not three, because we want to have a base, a flyer and usually a spotter. That depends on the skill difficulty. So, because the safety is involved and that's the number one thought of instructors and for the participants to not feel like, “Oh, my god! I’m going to fall,” or anything like this. We will begin usually, in a beginner's class, by talking about the importance of bone stacking, of using your muscles, using your bones to make the practice easy. A lot of people see these really cool pictures of Acroyoga and they go, “Well, I can't do that. You know? I am not flexible, I am not strong,” and within 15 minutes of the classes, 99% of the class is doing exactly what they thought they couldn't do. So you are breaking down these mental barriers, you are breaking down physical barriers and you are exploring new ways of movements, new ways of communication, which tend to be verbal as well as nonverbal. Why? Because sometimes just getting a real gentle squeeze on your hand can mean, “Oh, I need to go little deeper,” or “Let’s fix the foot,” and how we can problem solve together instead of coming into a place where like, "Oh. Well, you didn’t put your foot right" instead of "How can we put the feet?"
MELANIE: Yes, see that's what I am thinking would happened in some couples. “You are not doing it right. She said to do it this way,” and I love the laughter factor, Arianne. I do love that because that does relax people. It's something that I know as a trainer. I know that laughter gets people to relax. Even in some of those difficult poses, I can see where the trust thing comes in because may be your tush is near somebody's -- you know what I mean? You are not looking that attractive.
ARIANNE: You get up-close and personal.
MELANIE: You are getting up-close and personal and if you feel, as a woman, maybe I don't like the way my thighs look and here I am in this position that shows them off pretty well then I guess that trust is that the person is not going to be like, “Ew! I didn't notice that,” or you know? So, that's the hard part.
ARIANNE: Now the funny thing is that the minute that you are -- just like in yoga. You know, I’ve been a yoga instructor for over 10 years -- when you are doing difficult things when it takes like, “Oh, I have to put foot there and then I have to put my hand here,” and “Okay. I am going to have to turn my body this way,” the last thing you are thinking about is how your thighs look. The first thing you are thinking about is like, “Wow! I can't believe I am doing this.”
MELANIE: And, I guess, as a couple you do have to try not be critical of each other in this way. We only have about you know a minute and 45 seconds or so left, so give us a little bit more about it. How it can be healthy for the relationship and building that trust and may be some advice on getting our partners or loved ones to go with us.
ARIANNE: Yes, first of all I met my boyfriend in an Acroyoga class, so that's the testimony that they are there. And that practice has helped us in even little, small arguments. It is called positive communication, positive feedback. So, something that we really really like to you know bring forth as Acroyoga teachers is this idea of communication, always starting with the positive and then going into the feedback, right? Into maybe the more critical feedback. So, there’s never -- you're never coming into a relationship -- whether it is an acrobatic relationship or personal relationship -- from a place of blame. It's always coming from a place of “How can we work together to achieve the pose?” or “How can we work together to achieve the goal that we have?” So, it's a lot of team-based building, it's a lot of working in an 'us', instead of a place of 'you and me'. So already those of you, what you learn in classes, will resonate into our day to day lives. You move away from the “Oh, but look how they are doing it. You know, they are so much better at it than us,” we totally want to make people realize that everybody is different, everybody comes from different backgrounds so what we have to harness is our individual strength and see how they can create or work together to create this -- again like whether a specific pose in Acroyoga class or whether it's a problem solving, that's what I am talking about. So, because we are starting to work with touch, the physical manipulation of the body, it moves into a lot of the energetic realms. It moves into a mental realm of breaking down our own barriers, open up our minds, open up the hearts and let the other person connect with you on this subtle level of trust.
MELANIE: You know, it sounds like a wonderful way to do this sort of partner building trust issues and, you know, may be for some couples, maybe it would work for me and my husband that it would be able to -- so that you're not so critical of each other.
Hey, you know, anything that works on relationships and trust is going to be a great thing, so try Acroyoga. You never know it might work for you. You are listening to Health Radio on RadioMD. We are your health news network. This is Melanie Cole, thanks for listening and stay well.