By: Nosa Edebor
For the better part of 2 years I've been lucky enough to be married to an amazing woman who I have been training with for the past 5 years. Our personal relationship supercedes any Acro partnership though, as we have been a couple for 11 years. AcroYoga has been a powerful tool to build trust, openess and communication; all those things you hear at any AcroYoga workshop. AcroYoga is our passion because we have lived it, seen it in action, and are a product of it.
We used our honeymoon as an opportunity to become certified AcroYoga teachers in leiu of wedding gifts and now spend the majority of our year traveling and teaching this practice to communities around the world. As far as dedicated partnerships go, we are as dedicated as they come
But we do not own one another.
In many instances...
as we come across communities and partnerships around the world, the idea of "my base" or "my flyer” has become a more prevalent theme, even if done innocently. Yet still, partner ownership and dedicated partnerships are common tendencies for many as they grow in their practice.
There are so many pros to having a dedicated partner(s). Susie and I have become more calibrated, sensitive and empathetic to each other’s needs. Dedicated partnerships create an unspoken vocabulary in which they use their bodies to hold conversations The problem with partner ownership is that it removes the other person from the equation by turning them into an object and becomes less about the “we" and more about the “me" and “mine." The power that is built through partnership is lost when we feel possessive over those we work with.
To grow, not only in our physical, but emotional and social practice, is something we all strive for. Just like that hand to hand, it takes practice, communication and calibration. Feeling free to grow in your personal practice only serves to strengthen your partnership. To claim ownership over the ones we work with may make you feel secure, but it ultimately stunts the growth of the individual. Here are some things that may help move from ownership to partnership.
The Power Of Language
Let's move away from possessive terms like “my" and “mine." Let the people you work with keep their identity and use their name. Also you can say “ *insert name* the base/flyer I work/play/train with."
Play With Other People
Playing with someone who is not your regular partner, can be fun, scary, exciting and intimidating. There is much to be learned from every experience so take the time to get familiar with other AcroYogis. Calibrating with a number of people will ultimately make you stronger, more well-rounded, and more sensitive to the differences of each partnership. This however, does not mean sacrifice the current partnership you are in. Continue to grow, foster and nurture that partnership and perhaps the time working with others may improve your dedicated partnership.
This concept is often talked about and not as often put into practice. Remain open for dialogue in your dedicated partnership and express how you feel in a healthy manner. Understand you may not agree on everything, but you should be able to talk about those disagreements openly.
Encourage each other
Be the one to encourage the partnership to pursue their strengths and be supportive in areas of growth. Whether that's physical embodiment of acrobatic skills or avoiding social situations, be someone your dedicated partner can lean on for support physically, emotionally and socially.
You may not get it right at first
Give yourself and the person you work with the space to learn, grow and make mistakes. No one is perfect, but in your dedicated partnership, help each other learn from the mistakes that are inevitable.
These are things that have worked and what we are still working on in our partnership. Keep the fun in the practice and smile as the partnership soars.
Peace and love,