AcroYoga is all about communication.
In this week’s blog, I want to share some common pitfalls that we can encounter, plus ways to upgrade our communication skills.
What you focus on expands
What often happens is that we focus on what’s going wrong.
We say things like:”You’re bending your arms”, when we actually need to say:”Can you straighten your arms?” for instance.
But instead of putting the focus on what is happening,
we need to focus on where we want to be.
Wow, isn’t that a life lesson in a nutshell?
When we focus on -and communicate- what we do want, our partner actually understands what we mean, and they can adjust accordingly.
I love how AcroYoga shows us -in a very direct and physical way- the path to getting what we want in life.
As an acrobat (and especially as a base), I learned to find fault with my flyer when a trick didn’t work out.
While I sometimes gave valuable corrections, this way of communicating caused irritation and misunderstandings, as you might imagine.
I still make jokes about it to my students when I tell them to “always blame the other”.
In AcroYoga I’ve learned to be more humble and acknowledge that I don’t know everything (even though I’d like to pretend that I do…).
Now, instead of looking for what my partner does wrong, I’m practicing to find how we can make things better.
As a result, we have a lot more fun and a way better connection.
You can help me by…
One way to do this is by literally reaching out for help:”You can help me by…”.
For instance:”You can help me by straightening your arms”.
I can also ask:”How can I help you?”, because maybe there's something that I need to adjust.
This might seem so basic that it’s almost silly, but… in a stressful situation we can sometimes forget about basic courtesies.
When a pose is new and challenging, we can get stressed: about our safety, our partner’s safety, a sudden pressure or stretch in our body that we didn’t expect, etc.
And this stress can trigger unconscious patterns in us that hinder our ability to communicate clearly.
So it’s great to have some tools handy.
Asking each other for help shows our humility, our vulnerability, and our willingness to cooperate.
And it invites goodwill and kindness from the other.
ONE more tip
What I often see -and I’m just as guilty of doing so- is the tendency to give someone an overload of tips and instructions.
Try processing those while you’re upside down in the air.
What works much better instead, is taking one simple thing to focus on.
So, going back to the example of the arms: instead of telling my partner to straighten their arms, point the feet, make a hollow shape, bring the chin to the chest, and smile while they’re at it, I’m going to just ask them to straighten their arms.
Once that works out, I can give my next request.
Give it a shot
Next time you practice AcroYoga with a partner,
try out these simple techniques
and enjoy the increase of clarity and fun that you'll have.
Thanks for reading :)
I hope some of these tips have been helpful for you, or perhaps a nice reminder.
I’m also curious: what helps you to communicate better?
Let me know in the comments.
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