This is me being held in the air in a "one sided warrior" acro yoga pose in a workshop I was at 6 weeks ago.
Before I got Rheumatoid Arthritis I danced classical ballet 3-5 days a week. When the RA set in the doctors told me I might get lucky and get a remission, which I did. After my third spinal surgery I have been working hard to rebuild strength and flexibility for 4 years now, and last summer I wanted to give yoga another try, so I went to the international yogafestival at Ängsbacka.
One morning I was planning to attend a workshop on yoga and meditation for stress reduction, but forgot my mat and was late for the beginning of the class. I came panting into the training hall after everyone else had sat down in a circle and quickly grabbed a mat and sat down with them, when this funny looking guy says;
"Hello and welcome to this class in Acro Yoga for beginners..."
Of course I should have got up and left right then and there, but I was too self-conscious. I figured I'd stick around until a quiet moment allowed me to sneak out silently. We did the warm ups and that was ok, then we were paired up, and the instructor showed us some beginning exercises, where one person lifted the other in the air on their legs and it looked completely crazy and utterly impossible for me with my health conditions.
But my assigned partner was really friendly and it was hard to leave her high and dry, so I played along with the exercises without actually having to try any heavy stuff. (I try to never excuse myself and not participate because of health problems anymore, as I find it just limits me so much to draw attention to the things I can't do. It's better to just silently nod and work around it.)
Then we were asked to pair up again, and I find myself eye to eye with this blue eyed goddess who asks me "Have you been flying yet?" ("flying" in acro yoga means being lifted up in the air) and I say "...noooo", and she says, "well you're going to now!" and like it's the easiest thing in the world, she gives me a radiant smile, takes my hands in hers and just picks me up on her feet and lifts me into the air...
... and you know what? It wasn't hard at all, and it didn't hurt, and before I knew what had happened, I was flying!!
I laughed and cried that day, I was so overjoyed to have found some kind of physical training that was almost as fun as classical ballet, but actually involving two people who help each other. Dear Anne Mette, the blue eyed goddess, became a good friend and we flew together several times and I will never forget the moment we met, or her beautiful smile.
I decided to join the same instructor in a weekend course in acro yoga a few months later, and after a few sessions I could do fun stuff like the sideways warrior and the bat:
I choose to believe that this means anything's possible... I've heard the saying "when pigs can fly..." and I haven't seen that happen yet, but when back-broken, RA-riddled whiplash-patients can fly...? That truly is a miracle :)
Sometimes we need a little help, or a mistake like entering the wrong room at the wrong time to dare to try new things... but wow... how fun it is!!!