Aerial arts give us the incredible opportunity to “fly” -- an experience no less than extraordinary. But is this thrill and exhilaration an expression of spirituality? There are strong opinions out there. At the end of the day, it all depends on your perspective.
There is no set spiritual practice in aerial arts, but most will tell you that they are a great way to connect with your true self. With an emphasis on self-discipline, facing one’s fears, dedicated perseverance, and other qualities, getting into the air can be a major catalyst for personal growth.
In particular, aerial yoga might help you step even further into a spiritual mindset. Working with an extension of the asanas in hatha yoga, some aerial yogis find the practice not only relaxing and strengthening but also spiritually inspiring.
And while others object to bringing spirituality and fitness together, it seems that most seekers aim to encompass their spirituality into all aspects of their lives.
To be involved in any kind of aerial arts is to feel a strong sense of empowerment, that you are capable of amazing things. What can be accomplished on the apparatus speaks to what is possible back on the floor and in the world beyond. A healthy measure of humility helps, also.
No matter your discipline or apparatus, you can extend into a deeper idea of the practice. Consider how the physical movements can lend inspiration.
Some poses in the aerial hammock provide a very real sense of quiet and retreat, which may help encourage us to look inward. Other poses present us with dynamic challenges, offering an urgent opportunity to stay present and “grounded” even though we’re in the air.
Maybe you are working on extensions or flexibility. These physical pursuits also translate into a higher practice and ways we can inhabit the world. Working with gravity, an elemental force, can teach us a lot about the nature of things.
If you are a performer, you might find the exhilaration of sharing your gifts with an audience is akin to a kind of spiritual experience. This can be highly gratifying as you give back to others and in turn create community.
However you approach it, and whatever your beliefs, your aerial practice is yours. The world of aerial arts is wide open. Let’s open our hearts to all it has to offer.
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