AcroYoga Workshop set for Sunday in Vail |

AcroYoga Workshop set for Sunday in Vail

The person on top, the “flyer,” experiences the health benefits of being decompressed, while the person on bottom, the “base,” gets a great stretch in the hamstrings, core, low back, quadriceps and shoulders — both roles serve skiers with over-worked or tight legs.
Special to the Daily |

VAIL — The Aria Athletic Club & Spa in Vail hosts an AcroYoga workshop Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The workshop will be taught by local ski instructor and AcroYoga instructor, Samantha Sunshine, and Aria’s yoga teacher and snowboarder, Bronson Killpack.

AcroYoga is a dynamic form of partner yoga blending inverted postures, twists, simple acrobatics and Thai massage. Sirsana, (the headstand) is said to be the king of all the asanas because of the significant health benefits the body receives. Inversions, when the legs are held over the heart, increases the flow of blood to the brain, improves memory, helps drain blood and lymph and helps move stored fluids for oxygenation, filtration and elimination of metabolic/cellular wastes.

Defying Gravity

The weight of gravity plays such a profound role of compressing the discs between the vertebra on the spine that the body can be up to an inch shorter at the end of the day. In AcroYoga, you get all the benefits of a headstand, plus the bonus benefits of feeling weightless and totally relaxed. In practicing AcroYoga you don’t have to support your body — that’s the role of your partner — and in this context, your head gets to hang freely. When you trust and allow someone else to support your head, neck, shoulders and hips, a profound state of relaxation and release is achieved. Without any weight pressing on the top of the head, the entire body instantly reconnects to this feeling of formless freedom.

Samantha Sunshine, facilitator for the workshop, says the most common response she hears from her students is, “I feel like I’m floating through space; I feel completely recharged … like I’m reborn, or something.” The inverted postures naturally lengthen the spine with gravity’s help, usually causing the body to express major “sigh”-like sounds of relief. Sunshine says people come to her classes that haven’t been upside down since playing in the school playground.

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“These people tend to burst out laughing because the sensation of being suddenly weightless is so foreign yet so appreciated,” Sunshine said. “We’re so accustomed to directing our energy and focus to something outside the body, that when I tell someone to close their eyes and give me all their weight, it’s like traveling to another universe, yet you’re still in the same body and place.”

The two-and-a-half hour workshop is $35 for non-members, $30 for Aria members and $10 for yoga teachers. For more information or to sign up, call the Aria Athletic Club & Spa at 970-476-7400.

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