was introduced to Acro Yoga by NDTV Goodtimes’ show, Yogasutra. I was awed and then gave it my first try during the duet dance competition at IIT, Delhi. I learnt 3 things about Acro yoga in my first trial and they are – Acro Yoga is beautiful; it’s musical; and it’s an art!
What Is Acro Yoga?
According to the official website of Acro Yoga, it is a beautiful blend of ‘the wisdom of yoga, the dynamic power of acrobatics and the loving kindness of Thai massage’. It was founded by Jenny Sauer-Klein and Jason Nemer in 2003. The 3 main aspects of this form of yoga are trust, playfulness and a sense of community. Acro Yoga constitutes 3 elements: the Solar Acrobatic Practice, the Lunar Healing Arts, and the Yogic Practices.
3 Positions Of Acro Yoga:
In Acro Yoga, there are 3 positions and they are:
- Base–In this position, theyogi is in most contact with the ground. His job is to support and hold the flier.
- Flier-In this position, the yogi who does the flying with the help of the base.
- Spotter-In this position, the yogi keeps an eye on the things to prevent the injuries and to correct the forms. A spotter is necessary if you are at the beginner’s level of Acro Yoga.
Top 8 Acro Yoga Poses:
All the poses in Acro Yoga are beautiful, but here are the most beneficial poses in Acro Yoga that can be practiced by beginners.
1. Seated Partner Breathing:
Acro yoga is not all about doing acrobatics. It is a combination of acrobatics and yoga. There are poses, which should be done before doing the acrobatic poses to connect with your partner as well as to give yourself a nice warm-up. You should begin your session with this partner breathing pose.
- Sit in Sukhasana with your back connected and faces in the opposite direction.
- Now take deep breaths and regulate your breath according to your partner. It is like you are breathing as one person.
2. Seated Twist:
It is another warm-up pose to loosen up your muscles. The partner version increases the stretch to a greater degree.
- Sit in Sukhasana with your backs connected.
- Lift your arms to your sides and join your palms with each other.
- Now join your arms together and make a straight line.
- Rotating your joined arms first move to left side twisting your torso and then to the right side.
- Do it 3-5 times on each side.
- Hold each for 10 seconds.
3. Double Down Dog:
Downward Dog is one of the most popular yoga poses, so how can there be not an Acro Yoga version? Double Down Dog is a fun pose, which is relatively easy. The reason is that the weight is more evenly distributed while doing this pose as the flier supports his front herself. You can do this pose in a series, if there are more than two people. Nevertheless, this pose usually ends in giggles.
- For doing a Double Down Dog pose, both the partners should come in the downward dog position.
- The base should take his position exactly behind the flier with his hands near the flier’s feet.
- Now the flier should slowly walk back while maintaining her Down Dog.
- Continue walking back up the base’s back until your feet are planted on his lower back.
4. Double Boat Pose:
Double Boat Pose is the partner version of the traditional Boat Pose. In this pose, both the base and flier are seated on the ground. This also can be done by beginners though the yogis should be flexible. This partner version is easier than the single boat pose as your partner’s support makes the hold easier. But, at the same time this version increases the stretch. It is good for core strength.
- Sit facing each other with your knees folded in front of you.
- Extend your arms toward each other and hold your wrists firmly.
- Now raise your calves until they become perpendicular to the sky and parallel to the floor.
- Join your soles with your partner’s.
- Now press on each other’s soles and straighten your legs.
5. Camel with Plow Pose:
This pose is a combination of Camel Pose and the Plow Pose. The base takes the Plow Pose and the flier gets into the supported Camel Pose. If it is possible, the base and flier should also do the pose with reversed positions to get the benefits of both the basic poses.
- The base should lie on his back on the ground.
- Now lift your legs and take them back touching the ground before your head in the Plow Pose.
- Now the flier should sit on her knees facing away from the base with her feet hugging the base’s flank.
- Now bend back into the Camel Pose, and reaching back grab the base’s feet.
6. Folded Leaf:
This is one of the first few Acro Yoga poses that your yoga trainer would teach you. This pose is intermediary and also allows the base to give the flier some Thai massage.
- Base – lie on your back and lift your feet straight in the air.
- Flier – stand close to the base’s lifted feet touching them. Bend forward until the base’s feet get placed firmly at your hips. Reach with your arms to hold the base’s wrists.
- Base – make sure you place your feet firmly at the flier’s hips and reach forward to hold his wrists with your hands. Now, straighten your legs lifting the flier’s lower body off the ground until your legs are perpendicular to the ground.
- Flier – lift your legs. Open and straighten them such that your lower body becomes perpendicular to your torso.
7. Front Bird:
This pose comes after the folded leaf pose. It involves the actual high flying by the flier as the flier is supported solely by the base without any point of contact with the floor.
- Base – lie on the ground with your back firmly supported by it and your knees bent.
- Flier – stand before the base near his feet.
- Base – lift your feet and place them at her hips. Make sure your feet are firmly planted there and supported by her hips. Now hold the flier’s arms at her elbows and straighten your legs high in the air lifting the flier with the motion.
- Flier- Balance yourself and lock your body in a straight line with your toes pointed out. When you are sure of your balance, then leave the base’s arms and raise yours in the flying motion.
8. Flying Bow:
This pose is a transition from the Back Bird Pose. It comes under intermediate to advanced poses. A little more challenging than the other but it also means more trust, compatibility, strength and flexibility.
- Base should lie down on his back on the ground with his knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
- Flier is to stand facing away from the base near his feet.
- Now the base places his feet firmly at the flier’s lower back with his heels resting on her butt.
- Flier bends backwards reaching with her arms.
- Both should grab and hold each others elbows firmly.
- Base lifts his legs straight into the air, lifting the flier off the ground at the same time.
- You have reached the Back Bird pose.
- Now the flier should bend her knees and grab her ankles with her hands in the Bow Pose.
These poses are relatively simple and effective way to get acquainted with Acro Yoga. It is so romantic when done with your beloved and really fun when done with friends or other dear ones. The best part about this form of yoga is that it always brings love and laughter, even when you are not able to do the poses. Contrary to pop belief, Acro Yoga can be done by anybody with practice. And in the end people always get hooked to it! You will too!
Benefits Of Acro Yoga:
Read on to know about the benefits of Acro Yoga:
- It develops amazing core strength.
- Acro yoga has all the benefits of yoga and the healing properties of Thai massage.
- It is improves balance, flexibility and coordination of the body.
- It gives better control over one’s body.
- It builds relationships and strengthens them. Acro yoga is based on trust and dependability of two people on each other. It helps in building strong partnerships.
- It is a great way to workout with your spouse. It is a super romantic form of exercise. It brings people together.
Have you ever tried Acro Yoga? Was it fun? Share your experience with us in the comments section below.