teacher focus: Erica Montes

Erica Montes first worked with the body though performance art, acrobatics and theatre. She encountered yoga and meditation as a teenager and, after years of working as an actor, found a common ground between her intensely disciplined theatre work and Eastern practices that promoted mindfulness through physical motion. This sparked a lifelong interest in exploring conscious movement and the connection of mind, body and spirit. She is a certified level 2 AcroYoga teacher and describes AcroYoga as the ideal vehicle to express the themes of harmony, balance, spirituality, joy and bliss. We had a sit-down Q&A with Erica to learn more about her thoughts on AcroYoga we wanted to share with you!

How to get over the fear of falling and jumping into flying?

In AcroYoga we have three roles: Base, Flyer & Spotter. This means that we always practice in groups of three, where alongside the flyer and the base, the spotter takes care of safety and the correct alignment. Safety is one of the main human biological needs and only when people feel safe will they be able to open, release and trust. So if you are afraid of flying, you can rely on your spotter, who will make sure you are safe and you are enjoying your first flight! In a 5 day Immersion you learn progressive steps, that prepare you to trust your own abilities but also the people around you.

What are the benefits of an AcroYoga practice?

On the physical realm AcroYoga develops strength, coordination, flexibility and teaches the body how to move in new and unfamiliar ways. On a social level the practice harnesses mindful interactions and inspire people to be playful – clear honest feedback being one of the foundations of group work. Emotionally and psychologically, AcroYoga brings a sense of empowered embodiment where students learn how to trust and be trusted, support and be supported achieving a lot more than their individual selves would be able to do.

Besides Yoga and acrobatics what are the other components of the practice?

The Lunar side of AcroYoga is comprised of therapeutic work – both the Thai Massage and the therapeutic flying complement the acrobatic part. Whenever you work on your handstands or on your flying poses, it is important to balance your practice. The therapeutic techniques on the ground and up in the air not just help you relax your muscles, but develop sensitivity, mindfulness and softness, which will also help you in your acrobatic journey and allow for the development of a healthy sustainable practice.

What are some common misconceptions about AcroYoga:

People always think that you need to be super strong and flexible to do AcroYoga, which is unfortunate! Smart progressions and an emphasis on spotting techniques allow for people from all backgrounds to be successful at flying. We build a solid foundation by practicing a specific yoga sequence and strength & flexibility training with drills for all levels! Most people leave an AcroYoga class feeling empowered and supported by the energy of the group. So no matter if you attend a class alone or with a friend, you will for sure leave the class with lots of new friends and ideas of how to move, connect and play!

 

Join Erica at triyoga Camden for her upcoming workshops…

AcroYoga elemental immersion
monday 30th october – friday 3rd november £450

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*drop-in on monday + tuesday for a 2 day AcroYoga intensive workshop (£180), or book individually

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