My session at the Vancouver Yoga Conference had taken a pause. An hour-break, then we’d all come back for four more hours of chakra realization. So far, I’d been banging my hips and sacrum on the ground, trying to tune into my pelvis and the first three chakras. Now I was fantasizing about tuna sandwiches.
Such musings were interrupted by a voice to my neighbor to the left. It was one of those rich and resonant voices that reminds you of James Earl Jones. The kind of voice that Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellan spent years in drama school to develop. A voice that puts fussy babies to sleep and reassures angry crowds.
The voice belonged to a man radiating kindness. I was complimented on my note taking, asked very politely if I would be interested in a five-minute experiment in YogaFLIGHT. YogaFLIGHT? Was that like Acro-yoga? I asked. Similar, yes, but YogaFLIGHT was the integration of two passions: yoga and skydiving. Finding the freedom of weightlessness here on the ground.
I put off the tuna sandwich. Definitely interested.
Slade, my yogaFLIGHT guide, started me off in a variation of Prasarita Padottanasana. He lay on his back and supported the weight of my hips with his feet, then stretched my arms over my head for one of those deep, delicious expansions. “Breathe,” he reminded me. Oh right, breathing. I closed my eyes…and let go.
To be honest, I cannot tell you exactly what happened. Slade’s quiet, confident voice would occasionally say things like, “Now reach for your feet,” or “This is called sleeping tortoise,” and I would find myself suspended in a miraculous yoga concoction. I don’t know how it looked from the outside, but from the little crowd of smiling faces that I awoke to I can imagine it looked pretty fun. However, I can describe how I felt: present, connected, safe, light, expansive, joyful. As if the playfulness and wonder from my childhood could merge with a deep and present awareness of another human. For those five minutes, everything dropped away except gravity, partnership, and breath. Guided by Slade, this divine experience was uplifting and centering at the same time.
For those of you who have not yet experienced the freedom and joy of partner yoga and “flying,” I humbly and fervently recommend you do. I was lucky to have YogaFLIGHT drop into my lap unexpectedly, and even more fortunate that my first guide was such capable and trustworthy partner.
The rest of my day sparkled.
More about sKY and slaDE.