A year and a half ago someone asked me if I wanted a complimentary aerial training, and I had never done it. I thought I was going to an aerial yoga training - what did I get myself into? 2 weeks sober - gave me something to pour myself into.
When I first started I was so uncomfortable working with the hammock. I felt weak in my arms and my core, the hammock hurt because it presses out fascia that isn’t normally weight bearing. But it presented a challenge, and I liked that. The hammock carries your limbs to their edges - meaning the poses that we do, if you are flexible, they will show that, and if you aren’t you will be soon. 2 people told me this week they are getting closer to their splits from doing Air.
But it’s not about flexibility and it’s not just about the poses and the tricks. Air wanted to make something from the circus accessible to the everyday person. So we do fitness - pushups, pull ups, burpees - all the things you’ve done before. But core engaged the whole time because you’re pulling yourself off center and your stabilizing muscles have to engage the whole time. Edge of the comfort zone. Using it, standing right on top of it - to expand it.
Comfort zone - answers to questions
Discomfort zone - open-ended questions...Which can make us feel anxious, uneasy, but you can take that energy and transform it into excitement! Like exploring when you were a little kid. Wide-eyes wonderment….What else is possible? How do I like to feel? How much of that state of being can I create?
You can carry parts of your comfort zone with you into the discomfort zone - like an anchor. What stays the same and is always with us? Breath. Sense of self. Core values. So anytime you feel uncomfortable, can you tap into your breath? Maybe your sense of “I am courageous”.
For me, it took basically isolating myself for a while to figure out what makes me happy - how I want to feel and the type of people I want to surround myself with. But I started to feel at home in that space of discomfort, in the space right on the edge. Just like stretching, you can learn to crave that feeling of growth. Aerial is that physical representation. But you’ll find that your mind and body aren’t as separate as you might think.
Live in the discomfort zone and your potential is endless. Ask yourself an open-ended question, don’t answer it. Just let it be like an open cup that can be filled.