Acro Conventions + Acroyoga Festivals: The Smile is What is Important: How to Maintain a Positive Head Space and Enjoy Yourself
A Guest Post by Orin Lev Or
in our Series on Acro Conventions and Acro Festivals
Part 1: Acro Conventions + Acroyoga Festivals: Why Should I Try One?
Part 2: The Smile is What is Important: How to Maintain a Positive Head Space and Enjoy Yourself
Part 3: What to Pack for an Acro Convention / Acroyoga Festival
Part 4: How to Thrive at an Acro Convention / Acroyoga Festival
Orin Lev Or is a 23 years old acro yoga teacher and dancer, based in Tel Aviv. She has been doing acro with her father (Yanai Lev Or) since she was 5 years old and currently works teaching parents and kids. She originally wrote this guide for the Israel Acro Convention, but it has been edited to be applicable to any Acroyoga Festival or Acro Convention. You can follow her on instagram as acro.orin and facebook
She will be teaching Whips and Whops at the Israel Acro Convention (2019). Translation courtesy of Yanai Lev Or.
Note from the Author: Its taken a lot of courage to post this, but I finally decided that maybe it would help someone. Please read with sensitivity. I really like the Israel Acro Convention and feel connected to it, but the feeling is that it's not a festival, it's a professional conference… for everything.
Which is an amazing and happy thing in itself, but along with it, it also brings out a lot of hard things: Competitiveness, frustration, comparisons, issues of confidence and self-esteem, sense of inability, jealousy, fear, alienation, loneliness...
In the last two years of my life, I felt I needed some reminders because I believe that the change in perspective and the ability to sit back and observe things comes mainly from inside and depends mainly on me.
That’s why I created this guide for me, and of course for us, so that we can create a loving and accepting atmosphere at the convention, and that we may remind ourselves all the time that the tricks are impressive, but the smile is what is important.
The "guide" that will hang at the entrance to the Israel Acro Convention (where it will be posted for reading and contemplation), in the hope that we can keep our physical bodies safe, and equally important — ensure our mental and emotional security as well.
A Spiritual Guide for Acroyoga Festival and Acro Convention Participants
1. Remember! We came here and were created on this earth, to love, to enjoy and most importantly... to play! Your inner child is there, help him/her get out! Smile more.
2. Remember! Your body is your temple. Be mindful of this body: drink a lot of water, eat well, stop and rest when you notice it signaling, listen to its boundaries, and always use the "spotter" when appropriate.
3. Remember! Although sometimes it sucks to stand on the side, but being a spotter is not merely giving help, it's a "divine mission" and nothing less. You get to witness miracles and save lives!
4. What can you do? You're not Hermione and you don't have a magical hourglass to turn back time… which means you can't be at two classes at the same time. Make peace with this fact and make the best of the time you do have. Stop running. Be in the moment.
5. Take your time. Take a deep breath. Enjoy the sunset, the peacefulness of the surroundings.. Look people in the eye. And most importantly be supportive and spread encouragement. Tell people "wow, you're just amazing" It doesn't cost anything and it's really, really fun.
6. Remember! Each one of us was a beginner at one time! Do you see anyone on the side? Perhaps they're a little lost? Invite him/her to work with you! Who knows, maybe one day they'll make it onstage or to the Olympics.
7. Remember! Refusing to work with someone, out of discomfort or for any reason at all is not shameful! Be gentle and kind, but also assertive and clear. "I don't feel like it right now" or any other sentence is perfectly fine. And from the other side, receiving a "no" without any hard feelings is an important lesson in life. When you are turned down think how hard it was for that person to say no and try to appreciate that they're taking care of themselves.
8. So, you've just seen someone do a crazy trick and you are dying of jealousy? Remember! With time and perseverance you will be there too. Be patient with yourself (and with your partner(s). Love your body, it is powerful, amazing and you are simply inspiring!
9. Remember! Competitiveness is healthy up to a point. And there are egos even in the practice of acro... But we are also a family, which knows how to love and embrace. So help each other, be kind.
10. Remember! The success of the trick and the outcome is beautiful and excellent. But the process of getting there is what really matters. Fall down, roll around, laugh, be happy and be proud of every little step along the way.