As human beings, we all want to do our very best in each of our pursuits, whether it’s a relationship, a career, or a creative project. How exactly do we set these personal standards and what do they look like?
As aerial yogis and aerial artists, we likely set the bar for ourselves quite high. This is, of course, awesome, since up is the direction we tend to travel. The trick is to allow enough flexibility with our goals to give room for abundant kindness for ourselves. This can open new doors and allow aerial -- and life -- to flow more freely.
Photo by: @jessalynhoffman in our Aerial Hoop
Aerial work is an exacting and sometimes unforgiving art form, which is why it’s so important to be kind to yourself as you journey toward your dreams. If you’ve fallen off track over the last few months, now is a great time to restart and reflect on what drew you to this in the first place.
You might aspire to perform, to teach, or to achieve deep inner peace. You may have standards for the time you devote each week to practicing, your conditioning routine, cross-training, or nutrition,or you may just be starting in a new routine. But whatever your goals, it’s important to be nice to yourself.
Photo by: @bethelyogi in our Black Aerial Yoga Hammock
Here are a few ideas for setting a gold standard for your practice:
Maintain a comfortable pace in your practice that is feasible for you and your schedule. This might mean slowing down, in order to stay consistent. Sleep is especially critical for active individuals, and keeping the calendar doable can help you avoid burnout.
Change up your routine on the regular. Try a new class, sign up for online workshops, and throw in things to shake up the day to day. This keeps your routine from getting stale and challenges you to continue learning.
Practice smart. Always do your thorough warm-up and practice proper technique. Think of warm-ups and conditioning as the self-care of your aerial work!
Connect with the community. Consider sharing photos on social media, or blogging your experiences in the journey to your goals. Sharing helps hold you accountable!
Compete against only one person: you. We all know just how bad it can feel to compare ourselves to others. Save the stress and just focus on bettering your own game.Set an example for others and then use that example for yourself too. If you’re a teacher, you may be familiar with this, but the trick can work for everyone.
Set small goals and meet them. We all need to feel successful on our path, and when we start with digestible milestones, we may find we can push farther.
Give yourself a few gold stars for a job well done! Give yourself that evening to yourself, treat yourself to that new equipment you've been eyeing, plan your spa day, or whatever you do to pat yourself on the back. Rewards can go a long way.
Aerial arts can teach us a lot about ourselves, about others, and about life in general. Wherever you are today, honor the journey you’ve taken to get here. Define what a gold standard means to you, and commit to achieving your goals. We often find that those imagined limits we impose on ourselves are false. This is where the magic happens, creating the ladder upon which we can reach for the stars.
Cover photo from Body Diversity - Studio N Photography - Natalie Mancino
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