Updated: Apr 30, 2021
A frequent flyer definitely equals a good #flyer. Getting stronger and more flexible too. But what makes a flyer great? We believe practicing surrendering & communicating your needs for instance will make a big difference. What else? Check out these 5 tips!
1. Let your base lead you
Do you like to be in charge? That might be reflected while flying, by taking the lead and telling your base what to do. Or, you’ve decided to be a base and aren’t even reading this blog ;)
If you are reading it and the words above apply to you, tell your inner ‘bossy flyer’ you understand his or her tendency AND that it’s ok to let go of control.
It’s the base’s job to lead.
If you rush ahead, he or she might not be ready for the next movement and unable to catch you.
So follow your bases’ feet and hands. Listen. And practice patience.
2. Find the balance between tension & relaxation
When we fly, body tension is required. Think of uncooked spaghetti, that’s easier to balance on your hand than cooked spaghetti, right?
But if you tighten every muscle, you actually become very heavy and much harder to balance.
So find out which body parts you need to lock and which you can soften. Usually the parts that are balancing need to be activated.
For instance: in a foot to hand you activate your ankles, legs and core, but you can relax your shoulders, neck and arms.
This is healthier for your body and makes flying more comfortable. Let’s say: business class ;) Who doesn't prefer that?
3. Surrender to the movement
‘What if I fall? Oh, but what if you fly?’
Even the bravest of flyers get scared sometimes, especially when the level rises and the tricks get more complex or dynamic.
What happens if we’re scared? We often try to control the movement too much by:
✔ tightening our whole body ✔ being overactive (in Whips for instance) ✔ trying to balance in a pose where the base should do the balance (in Star) But then you’re actually working against your base. You become heavy, immobile and lose momentum. In my experience, the more you surrender to the movement, the lighter you become and the safer the trick. I know what you’re thinking: you can’t force surrendering ;) No, you sure can’t! So the question is: what do you need to be able to let go?
Get to know your trick
Let's make one thing clear: it’s totally normal if you can’t surrender during the first few times you try out a trick or transition. Your body needs to get used to the movement and integrate it.
Smart thing to do: build up step by step, work with progressions. Slowly discover the dos and don'ts.
Surrendering requires a lot of safety. Make sure you work with a spotter first, until you’ve integrated the movement in your body.
If the trick goes well enough to work without a spotter, it’s time to start trusting your base.
Does he or she control the trick?
Can I catch myself if I fall? Or can my base do that?
He or she should always be ready!
If you don’t feel safe: ask yourself the question: what do I need?
Practicing falling? Slowing down the movement?
Or maybe just more time.
Check in with yourself, never force it. Of course the base should also feel that it’s safe, so communicate with each other!
A great flyer gives the base their trust. But of course, a base also needs to earn that trust.
Letting go of some control doesn’t mean you’re flying uncontrolled. It means you’re also letting gravity do it’s work and trusting your base.
4. Push, never pull
Maybe you recognize the tendency to pull at your base’s hands or legs to stay in a pose or make a transition.
Know this: whenever you're pulling, it means you’ve lost control.
It means you’re ‘wrestling’ to stay in a pose.
So, instead of pulling, push in your hands. This lifts your body up and gives your base the opportunity to balance and support you.
One trick that helps in this is straightening the arms. If your arms are straight it’s much harder to pull and easier to push.
Of course there are tricks
in which the flyer has to bend the arms: but also then: always push down!
5. Be open for feedback & communicate your needs
Bases can see us much better than we can see them. That means they can give us valuable feedback.
If they do that in a clear, uplifting and loving way, we can learn a lot from them!
So if you’re struggling with a trick, ask your base: how can I help you?
That way you're inviting him or her to focus on what you can improve, instead of what went ‘wrong’.
The same thing applies to you. How can your base help you? Ask for what you need.
Don’t say: "You're pulling me!"
Say instead: "Can you push with your hands?"
Feel the difference?
Being a great flyer translates to daily life
Surrendering to what is present, creating trust, clear and uplifting communication … Maybe you’ve already noticed: a lot of these tips also come in handy in daily life. That idea might motivate you even more to become a great flyer!
So, are you ready to put the tips into practice? We’re very curious if they will also improve your flying skills.
Maybe you have more tips to share? We’d love to hear them!
You can add them in the comments below or surf to our Facebook page to share anything about this topic.
Want to learn more about becoming a great flyer?
We offer private AcroYoga coaching for couples & groups of three in nature. Get coached on exactly what you desire and grow sky-high in no-time!
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Photo credit: https://www.orkfotografie.nl