I took my first Aerial Ribbon class last night. I had been anticipating this experience for over a week. I built up in my head how I would magically get it immediately and would be floating around like the Cirque du Soleil performers. I made sure I took the yoga class before it so I can be warmed up and centered. It felt so good to be in a class again. Being reminded to breathe and stretch. However, I couldn’t shut my brain off for most of it. “Don’t forget to do this tomorrow” “Why is this relationship going in this direction” “What else can I do to advance my career” “What is my work schedule the rest of the week” “I forgot about that experience I had years ago!” Blah, Blah, Blah. My brain just kept going! Couldn’t focus the way I knew I should for yoga to really work. But finally, FINALLY, I found that few minutes for peace. Don’t know how, but I managed to.
Then it was off to the Aerial Ribbon class. I couldn’t wait! Touching the ribbon was so exciting! I was going to twist and turn and float! Then, she showed us the first few steps. I wasn’t quite getting it right away…or for the first 30 minutes. I felt myself getting frustrated, heated, annoyed, anxious. I was beating myself up. How can I NOT get this right away?! I’m a failure! I try to always get everything right the first time. But this time that wasn’t happening. After what felt like my millionth attempt the instructor could see (and probably feel) my frustration. I actually apologized for not getting it. Then she said exactly what need to be said to me- “RELAX! It’s just an exercise class. ENJOY the learning process! No one, even me, gets it on the first try.” I forgot how to ENJOY the moment. I forgot how to ENJOY the learning process. “You’re not trusting the ribbon,” she says. In my head I’m then correlating that with my distrust of people. How sad is that?! “You are being too self-conscience and aware.” Well, of course! It’s easy to be when you want to do something so bad and advanced students around me are twisting, turning, floating! I took a time out. I took a few deep breaths. I let go. I give up- no more control. Trust the ribbon. Trust the instructor. Then it happened. I wrap the ribbon around my foot, pull my self up and voila! I was floating! Not by much, and barely off the ground, but I did it! I let go of the control, the anxiety and the pressure, and I was able to do it.
The class taught me a valuable lesson, and gave me much to think about. How I was going into the class is how I am mostly in my everyday life. Brain not knowing when to shut off, wall up, easily frustrated…and that I need to breathe and let go. I can’t control everything. I just need to enjoy the process of life and let it unfold. I know this, but I wasn’t living it. I’ll be back again next week to continue the learning process, but this time I will fully ENJOY it!