Adventures in Self-Suspension

This week there was a containing after the Unshibari week-end, to bring the group back into a clearer structure. After discussions with N, we decided we would focus on self-suspension using the Arisoe Go harness, which is the simplest to get into the air, it's a little restrictive because it is one sided. I was happily surprised that everybody in fact got into the air.

Before that, however, we returned to the contact improvisation work that we had begun on the week-end: very simple exercises or scores just about sharing weight with another person. Everybody had smiles on their faces after that. One of the things I enjoyed was asking people to work with someone they haven't worked with before, to challenge themselves in this way.

Then we did some core strengthening exercises as preparation for self-suspension. The exercises were drawn from Iyengar yoga: leg raises, sit ups, twists. This bore fruit later on. I remember saying that yoga is very humbling because it confronts you with your limitations, but it also helps with cultivating integrity. If it is practiced properly, it makes you aware of where you are with your body, and gets you to work from that place, rather than from where you think you should be.

Perhaps the most beautiful moment in the class for me was doing the demonstration of self-suspension with N. We were teaching together. (Photos by Lia Smith and Kari McKern)


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