Five Questions on Yoga Pyramids With Noga Weiss
What happens when you mix an inspirational yoga teacher with a circus performer and physical theater teacher? You get Noga Weiss. One of Noga’s specialities is Yoga Pyramids, a type of acrobatic yoga that many people are not familiar with. So, I decided to sit down and ask Noga five questions on Yoga Pyramids.
The Concept of Yoga Pyramids
Traditional yoga asanas are like a structure, they place our body in a steady and solid foundation. Then, we build up from that foundation. When building a human yoga pyramid, participants are forced to place trust in one other in a way that does not occur in most yoga classes. Unlike Acro Yoga, Yoga Pyramids uses multiple and creative combinations of base supports and flyers. This makes Yoga Pyramids a unique form of yoga.
So, how did Noga fare answering my questions?
1. What inspired you to start teaching Yoga Pyramids?
My inspiration for Yoga Pyramids stems from three aspects of my life. First, and most important, is the acrobatic background I developed throughout the years I spent in a small circus group in Israel. Second, I am endlessly inspired by teaching Kids Yoga, and my own three young children at home. They love climbing on top of each other, and on me. Last, yogis are always looking for new and creative ways to play with their bodies, to explore their capabilities, while making sure to keep their bodies safe from harm. The art of Yoga Pyramids, unlike acrobatics, offers a great deal of safety, stability, and healthy benefits while allowing for creative exploration.
2. What is the significance of a pyramid within yoga theory?
When a group of people, especially yogis, create a structure together, they connect their bodies and minds. This is a great way to practice teamwork, and to let go of the individual Ego. Many times, the participants don’t even know how impressive and strong the pyramid is! Often we forget that the combination of the poses looks so much more impressive than a single pose on it’s own. I think it can be a great metaphor to life – working on your own development, while working in a group. Finding the balance between internal focus and external focus is the key to the Yoga Pyramid.
3. What is your goal, or ultimate objective, in teaching Yoga Pyramids?
The goal is to encourage people to expand their abilities, in both their bodies and their minds. This comes from using the support of the group, and simultaneously providing support to the group. It is a process of mutual growth. It challenges our limits while inviting creativity and lets the imagination turn on to offer more Pyramids for the group to practice, as the variations are limitless.
4. What can people expect in a Yoga Pyramids workshop?
When a group of people comes together to practice, it is important to tune in first, in order to then tune out and connect with one another. So first we balance our energy, to get into a safe, communal place. Together, we divide the roles between base, or the ground stones of the pyramid, and flyers, the higher levels of the pyramid. Then, there are the spotters, who ensure the safety of all. Once roles are distributed, we begin to play. There is always more than one base, more than one flyer, and more than one spotter. Once you have found a role that fits, you have found the way to be supportive to the group. You might try all of the roles within one practice or you might choose to practice in one role only.
5. What do you tell people who might be facing fear in a workshop like this?
Unlike in a personal practice on your mat, where you face your fears and challenges on your own, here you have the support of other people. You are there to support others too. Overcoming challenges in a group is often easier, and ultimately more fun, than on our own. Lots of times, all we need is to see someone else try something new, to watch them overcome their fears, and that inspires the whole group.
Noga teaches Yoga Pyramids in Bali, and at BaliSpiritFestival.
Written by : Amber Hoffman