Acroyoga Workshop at Mainline – Netherland

Jolien organized a workshop together with her friend and acropartner Sanne, for the employees of MainLine. Mainline’s mission is to improve the health and rights of people who use drugs. A small group of people, this time the ages ranging from 35 to 62, men and women, with different fitness levels participated and were surprised with an exciting workshop.

The workshop started with some explanation about acro. As they are used to doing it like this, Sanne and Jolien asked the participants to introduce themselves with their name, how they felt that day and a short reflection on 2019 and their dreams for 2020. This way, participants already open up to each other and feel supported in their dreams by the group.

The workshop continued with a mindful physical warm-up with yoga postures and flow. This will help ease participants into moving but also gives a better idea for the facilitators of the fitness level of the group. To continue the warm-up and start the group in working together, some games and partner-exercises were introduced. This already got people sweating, laughing but most of all cooperating and communicating. Trust, communication and playfulness were the main focus points.

In the second part of the workshop, Jolien and Sanne showed some easy acro poses. Initially the participants did not think they would be able to do it but working in groups of 4, with two spotters to keep each other safe, they managed to do it together. Due to different injuries, fitness levels and strength/weight combinations, not all participants tried all the different roles of spotter, base and flyer. We encouraged them to communicate within their group what they would feel comfortable with. We got clear feedback that the participant only tried something if they felt safe doing that. It was amazing to see the emotions that came up. Participants felt an adrenaline rush of stepping out of their comfort zone, felt overwhelmed with joy and were surprised of themselves for being able to do it.

To end the workshop, the participants did a massage-table, to relax, calm the system and give and receive. After this, everyone came back into the circle (as we started) and shared a word about the workshop. A few of them were; joy, connection, trust, together, exhilarating,communication, playfulness. This was the feedback of the workshop, participants loved it and were very happy to have tried it.

The participants work with people with addictions, one of the possible target groups in Amsterdam for social work. This was the first step in establishing contact, have the people that work with the target group try it and hopefully setting up a project with this target group.