Stacey Huard took the Unnata Teacher Training course last August. She has shared her experience in the below Student Series article.
What is this Unnata Aerial Yoga? A new spin off the yoga craze in the West filled with gimmicky promotion? A new fitness regime to add to the already intimidating practice of yoga, perceived as accessible only to the ideal body? Those were my exact thoughts when I was first visually introduced to the practice. Even with these closed judgments that I can admit I am not proud, there was this longing guided by curiosity that had me try my first class. This article is for those who are filled with this same sense of curiosity and perhaps resistance to the hybrid practice.
As I find my fabric hammock and line my mat beneath, I can sense the anticipation within me stirring. Thoughts circling as my senses take in my surroundings. With an open mind, I tune into the voice of the yoga teacher and allow the guidance to take me into a practice that will surprise this heart filled resistance.
The sensations of the fabric sliding between the thumb and index finger providing a comforting reminder of the release I will soon feel. Stepping into the symbolic earth beneath my feet, I walk forward and feel the massage of the fabric against my shoulder. Hugging me closely to allow for an opening I now crave. I surrender my weight into this embrace and am filled with a taken care of release. Stepping back until I am once again held in the fabric, I feel the massage it provides my lumbar spine and a trust in the embrace and surrender my self, gently releasing back and opening through my front body and eventually my heart.
As more of my weight eases into the fabric, I can observe through sensation the tension melting off my body and I lean more heavily into the supportive structure. As my body inverts, head towards the earth and feet to sky, I am energized while simultaneously filled with ease. The entire weight of my being is now held in space between earth and sky.
The familiarity of the soles of my feet drawing together, in this inverted cobbler’s pose provides a reassuring softness and allows the top of my head to dissolve, relieving the effort of my brain. A break that even for a moment is celebrated. I place my hands on the mat beneath and strengthen my shoulders, energize and straighten my legs, feeling once again the embrace of the fabric wrap around my thighs as I access a supported hand stand. Deeply held in this inversion I am able to surrender all aspects of fear and am able to trust in the moment.
As I reflect upon the class, I am surprised by my appreciation and ponder on its cause. Perhaps it is the actual release of ego that we experience while in the supportive Aerial hammock. Perhaps the freeing of our circling thoughts as we are able to enter moments in time without agenda, without effort and only the act of letting go. And as we know, there is no action in this only and invitation for connection.
Once again life experience has taught me that in this life, we are presented with a kaleidoscope of opportunities to trust, open and love. We have the ability to color them any way we wish but to be wary of the limitations of our perceptions. In any moment in time we are free to close ourselves off or soar into a new forms of awareness and self -discovery.
— Stacey Huard, www.livegreeneatyoga.ca