How Flipping Upside Down Turned My Life Right Side Up

Gabrielle Garrett
October 20, 2015
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Anxiety is often a signal our bodies are sending us to slow down, regroup or make changes. It can come in the most uncomfortable waves, at unexpected times, whispering, nee, yelling “Listen to me. I’ve had enough.”

What do we do with this feeling?
Often, it’s covered up with alcohol or destructive behaviors. Sometimes, it’s met with negative thinking and a fundamental belief something is wrong with us. Other times, it leads to an opportunity of therapy, alternative or traditional medicine.
What if we trieda new solution? What if we softened our bodies defensives by losing control in a safe environment?
A natural born control freak, gymnastics scared me as a young girl. Handstands and cartwheels made me feel out of place.
However, at the age of 22, I became very attracted to the idea of aerial yoga. It looked graceful, fun and an alternative way to get exercise and practice yoga. I dabbled in this practice here and there and even asked for a yoga swing for Christmas. This was my new thing.
But, as with all new hobbies, I slowed down and began utilizing the swing as a hammock.
That is, until, my anxiety came back.  Something led me to start practicing again and I signed up for the 7:15 am class at my local studio.
Upside down
As I began to try to ask my mind to be quiet, it rebutted, reminding me work was beginning and I’d be late. I listened begrudgingly and continued to flip upside down, as I did I silently thought “Wow, I’m actually letting go.”  Until I looked up and noticed my death grip on the swing, trying to protect myself and therefore activating my bodies defenses; so I softened the grip, and low and behold, I survived.
Each week I returned, softening my grip even further each Tuesday morning, utilizing aerial yoga as a type of physical therapy to work on my ability to let go, trust myself, flip through my swing with ease and work with my mind to have a little fun.
Every time on the mat is different, but what matters is that we continue to show up, flip around and learn how to live our life to the fullest, one floating tree pose at a time.


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