I'm an AcroYogi with a fear of heights. Among other fears.
Like fear of failure. And fear of missing out.
So flying can be challenging at times. Especially when trying new tricks.
At times, I can be afraid to fall or fail. Just like in daily life, when I try new things. But even so: AcroYoga is still the most fun thing in the world to me!
Because every time I try a trick and feel I’m safe
- because my base or spotter catches me, or I catch myself -
I build more trust. In myself, my friends & life itself.
Maybe you’ve encountered the saying:
"What if I fall? Oh, my darling. But what if you fly?"
It's a quote from the young and talented writer Erin Hanson. She writes beautiful poetry, check it out! A quote that feels spot-on when it comes to my AcroYoga practice and daily life.
Video by: Jesse Immanuel Bom
“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky"
That's the beginning of Erins' poem about falling or flying. If you manage to overcome your fears, you'll be bathing in the feeling of freedom. As a flyer, literally: flying through the sky, trusting that the feet and hands of your base will be there. And trusting that your body knows what to do.
That doesn't mean you're not supposed to be afraid. We're all afraid. Of lots of things. At many moments. Your base might be afraid to not catch you. Your flyer might be afraid of not being good enough. Some people find therapeutic flying or Thai massage much scarier than acrobatics,
because of the intimacy.
And that's totally ok. Just don't let fear withhold you from doing what you love, or what you're longing for.
So how do you do that?
Building trust requires awareness. From yourself, your base and your spotter.
3 Tips to gain trust
1. Share your fears
As I said before: we all have fears. It's part of being a human being. By sharing your fears with others, you'll discover you not the only one. Also, the fear will soften, because you're making space for it. In The Netherlands we say: "Wat in het licht verschijnt, verdwijnt", meaning: what appears in the light, disappears.
2. Ask for what you need
Whenever you feel anxiety, take a moment to tune in to yourself. What do you need to feel safe?
A spotter? Progressions? As in: small steps to feel what your body needs to do, before performing the whole trick?
Technical tips? Crash mats? Practicing falling safely? Sharing a massage with someone you know well, first?
Whatever it is: ask for it!
Note: don't mix up asking for what you need by over-controlling the situation. For instance: becoming a "bossy flyer" by telling your base exactly what to do with each step. Trying to control everything gives a sense of security, but won't help you to overcome your fear.
Trust me, I know all about it ;)
Which leads us to the next step.
3. Be brave
To overcome fears, you need to be brave. Brave enough to suck at something new. Brave enough to do the trick without a spotter (once you're sure it's safe). Brave enough to share your fears. To let somebody lead you. To share physical touch. Brave enough to feel afraid.
So take a chance. Live a little. And fly!
Now over to you
What are you afraid of during AcroYoga (and in daily life)? How do you deal with it? And are you willing to share it in the comments below? This way, we can help and inspire each other.
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