So, I have bruises along the medial borders of my scapulae and over my posterior superior iliac spine—an understandable by-product of an evening spent learning basic Flying Therapeutics.
My “flyer” for the evening was Marvin—a sweet and soft-spoken young man who’s taller and (much) broader than me. While I’m accustomed to heaving my own body weight on a regular basis, it constitutes rather insufficient preparation for lifting someone about a good 40 pounds heavier.
Add to that the fact that I had to support him in a way that would allow him to completely relax.
Suffice to say that it took several attempts before Marvin and I learned to soften towards and surrender to each other. Most people would refer to partner-based yoga as an exercise in trust, but I find the cliché so vague as to border on the meaningless.
Because, yes, you do need to trust your partner in Flying Therapeutics, but it’s a trust that has to be earned (repeatedly) by both parties and that has to be cultivated through several iterations of trial-and-(hopefully-not-so-disastrous)-error. I nearly dropped Marvin several times (our spotter Camille saved him on the most critical occasions), and the form of trust that developed between us wasn’t about me NOT dropping him again, but about me managing NOT to kill him when he did end up falling.
In short, it was about trusting our mutual ability to mitigate or recover from the inevitable falls and mistakes.
I thought it made for a beautiful and specific kind of trust exercise: one that wasn’t about naïve and irresponsible surrender, but about a carefully calibrated reliance on one’s (and another’s) resilience and strength.
I highly, highly recommend it.