Our instructor was Jessica Sinclair, co-founder of the studio. She’s one of the few in Singapore who’s certified to teach acrovinyasa – that is, acroyoga done in a flowing sequence that’s typical of vinyasa style.
Currently, acrovinyasa classes are held on Wednesday and Thursday evenings at The Yoga Mandala.
“Acroyoga is essentially about taking the practice from earth to air. Besides core strength, it’s a lot about trusting and communicating with each other,” Jessica explained.
Gulp. Could I trust Gavin to support my weight? Even after being together for so long, we still encounter many instances of miscommunication that lead to arguments. Would we survive acroyoga?
Jessica led us through warm-up exercises to stretch our wrists, quads, lower back and hamstrings. Basic yoga poses like forward fold, locust and plank were included as well.
And then it was showtime. “It’s going to be easy, don’t worry! All my students have been able to do at least one pose in 15 minutes,” Jessica said when she saw me exchanging panicked looks with Gavin.
In acroyoga, there are three roles: base, yer and spotter. The base lies on the ground, supporting the yer who needs to balance. The spotter guides the base and yer to adopt good form, and makes sure the yer lands safely in case of a slip.
Typically, the larger-sized person takes the base position while the lighter one is the yer.
First pose on the list: Front bird, where the yer is in plank pose, supported by the base’s arms and legs.
Jessica demonstrated by being the base and me as the yer. I was to clasp her outstretched hands in a firm lock. She then positioned her feet on my pelvic points, and asked me to lean towards her.
Without fiinching, she moved her feet towards the ceiling, taking my weight with her. Instinctively, I engaged my abdomen, lower back and glutes to hold myself together. Pointing toes helps, as it activates the thighs and improves stability.
When it was Gavin’s turn to replicate the move, my palms started sweating. There he was, the love of my life, about to give me a lift that could make or break my life.
I prayed, and sent him mental messages to give it his best shot.
Placing his feet on the right part of my body was crucial. Too high and I would be in pain, possibly spurting out the contents of my stomach. Too low and he would lose the pivot point, which means I would fall easily.
We tried a few times before getting the hang of it. Then came the balancing part.
As Gavin lifted me off the ground, we were a bunch of wobbly limbs. One moment I was leaning too much into his hands; the next, my body was tilting backwards, threatening to slide off. Thank goodness for Jessica, who was constantly by my side to lend support.