When Cristina Ortega met Pablo Milian, Yoga met Acro. During a photo shoot in Miami’s South Pointe Park the first introduction was made, and as Cristina says, “the rest is history.” Being a yogi for five years, the transition to AcroYoga was natural for Cristina after she met Pablo, who she credits with teaching her all she now knows. “He really taught me most of, if not everything I know about AcroYoga.”
AcroYoga is the combination of acrobatics and yoga asanas, sometimes done as a Vinyasa flow. Pablo, who is well versed in AcroYoga can be found doing one-armed handstands on the beach or holding Cristina high over his head as the ocean waves roll in.
As the two defy gravity they know that AcroYoga goes beyond the physical benefits to enhance trust and communication, skills that are built alongside core muscles and flexibility. Taking lessons from the teachings of yoga they say, “AcroYoga is a form of human interaction that goes beyond the words and superficial exchange of energy that our society has us doing most of the time. The more we practice, the more connected we become. When a person practices yoga, the four corners of their mat becomes a canvas and the soul gets to create whatever reality you feel like creating. When the practice is over, you apply the teachings of that practice to your real life. The same happens in AcroYoga.”
AcroYoga Relationship Goal One – Becoming One
Pablo’s exceptional arm and core muscle strength defines his role as the base, while Cristina takes the role of the flyer, but don’t be fooled, Flyers needs to be just as strong and flexible in order to hold their positions. There is no doubt, it is a couple effort to support each other, and with continued practice the two begin to move like one body.
AcroYoga Relationship Goal Two – Patience and Understanding
Understanding that practice takes time, knowing when to gently push your partner and when to back off is critical in developing patience and understanding. Pablo and Cristina know this and tell us, “The most important tip I could give about Acro, is to practice with patience and understanding towards one another. Enter the practice knowing that perfection is just a matter of perception and while it is our nature to want immediate results, Yoga and AcroYoga, is an everyday practice on an off the mat. “
Taking the time to practice also means you’ll face failure and how to handle that failure will speak volumes about your relationship. Do you belittle each other for not making a sequence, or do you support and continue to try?
AcroYoga Relationship Goal Three – Communication
To support each other with patience and understanding of course you need to develop positive communication skills. This doesn’t mean just saying, “that’s too much for me,” or “let’s fly now.” It means understanding your partner’s body language, understanding how their muscles feel against yours and adjusting to those unspoken words, so that together you move into an Instagram worthy asana that is graceful and full of love. That’s a joke, you don’t need to do Acro for Instagram. Do it for yourselves and your relationship.
AcroYoga Relationship Goal Four – Trust
Balancing high above Pablo’s head, Cristina needs to have a deep trust. She needs to know that he’s got her no matter what. Just like in everyday life knowing your partner will support you no matter what, is the core to building a strong relationship.
Cristina expresses her trust in Pablo, “The practice teaches us to trust in our partners with eyes closed, it strengthens the communication, and most importantly it builds the foundation of something beautiful we share together.” Knowing that your partner has your back is the foundation of trust that love is built upon.
AcroYoga Relationship Goal Five – Love
Love is the bonus package that comes with building trust, good communication, and having patience with your partner. Whether you are a couple or a couple of girlfriends, AcroYoga deepens your relationship. It is a connection of mind and body. That sense of physical touch and mental connection is a space in which your relationship can flourish, and it’s great to sweat together too!
AcroYoga Relationship Goal Six – Fun
Practising together means having fun together. When my husband and I first tried Acro in airplane pose I had a major nip slip (yes, what you wear may become important). We spent ten minutes rolling on the floor in laughter. Laughing off the mishaps, practising without perfection, and enjoying each other’s company while engaging in active exercise is a great way to have fun together. It’s much like couples who love to go to the gym together. This is your place of common bonding.
Who’d love to hear stories of Cristina and Pablo’s funny moments? Perhaps in a future article.
Cristina provides us with one last AcroYoga tip, “Build your practice, set goals but most importantly do it with love and kindness. Like my teacher said, one of the best things one can do is to live more out of intention and less for recognition.”
Sometimes deserved recognition is a good thing. Discover Cristina Ortega (@HighonYoga) and Pablo Milian (@Murdoc305) on Instagram (definitely Instagram worthy!). And check out Pablo’s YouTube vids for added inspiration.