A Beginner’s Guide to AcroYoga
When first looking into AcroYoga, you may stumble across some crazy pictures or videos of two people balancing effortlessly on each other’s hands and/or feet. Some shots may even resemble a Cirque du Soleil extravaganza! If you delve deeper into the form, however, you will quickly learn that it’s not a circus act at all, but rather an exercise rooted in a playful simplicity.
The practice of AcroYoga fuses acrobatics, yoga, dance, and performance art. The combination formulates a great recipe that promotes the building of a trust within your body, your community, and your partner. The yoga portion of the practice brings in the physical, mental, and spiritual disciplines of traditional yoga while the acrobatic and dance elements bring in the essence of being in union with another person.
A session typically includes three primary roles – base, flyer, and spotter. The base is the person who has the most points of contact on the ground while the flyer is the person elevated off the ground by the base. The spotter is there to ensure the safety of both participants.
Benefits from AcroYoga
Allowing you to work with a wide variety of people, there are no restrictions or limitations to this form of yoga. Due to the balance factor in the practice, regardless of body type, you can engage in being either a flyer or a base.
AcroYoga also has the ability to test your skills in strength and flexibility. Your core and arms will tighten as you strive to maintain a perfect balance with your partner. This therapeutic approach to yoga will allow you to use gravity to release the flyer’s spine with supported inversions. As you learn and develop different poses, each of these skills will sharpen and create an overall better workout for you and your partner.
This twist on yoga stands out from the traditional exercise due to its social aspect. While traditional yoga is all about finding an inner peace or an inner balance, AcroYoga challenges partners to communicate and create a sense of trust.
Where to begin
Because the form of AcroYoga has such a growing popularity, more yoga studios are providing instructor led AcroYoga lessons that include activities such as circle ceremonies, partner flows, inversions, and Thai messages. There are even schools where instructors interested in this practice can get certified.
Beginners are typically welcome in these studios and can expect to learn a variety of basic postures. AcroYoga classes are suitable for people at all different levels of experience. Beginners needn’t worry if you don’t have a partner. Many studios can easily pair you with another student. To get involved in the AcroYoga adventure and locate teachers and workshops near you visit the AcroYoga.org website!
Alexandra Zuccaro is a recent graduate from Loyola Marymount University with a B.A in English. She a strong interest in journalism and hopes to pursue a career in the field.