AcroYoga is an integration of yoga, acrobatics and healing arts. Sometimes it looks like partner yoga, sometimes it looks like a therapeutic/restorative practice for both people. And other times it’s a very acrobatic flow. Remember, yoga has many elements to it, it’s not sure asana (poses/postures) that we explore but also meditation and pranamaya (breath control).
Why do AcroYoga?
AcroYoga teaches us about how to connect with each other through communication and trust. The connection not just intimate, but exactly a mirror. If you feel nervous, tense or uneasy, the other person will feel the same exact thing. The connection is very raw and in your face. It forces you to coordinate and understand what to activate and what not to activate. It’s about giving just the right amount of effort in certain ways and the right amount of relaxation… letting go in other ways. If you expend too much energy, it backfires.
Can I Learn AcroYoga Online?
Yes and no. I say that because there are lots of minute details to learn and since everybody comes from a different background, personal instruction is unparalleled. Ask your local yoga studios and teachers for leads on acro-yoga classes in your area and that will open up a rabbit hole.
However, there are are a few, very well made acro yoga videos for beginners that are genuinely REALLY GOOD! So I wanted to share them…
Here is Yogabatics 10-part Instructional Video Series
First, we’ll start with this playlist of Yogabatics 10-part (TEN!) instructional video series. This entire series was made extremely professionally. The instruction is top notch, the cinematography is very functional and it’s been holistically planned out from the first video until the last.
Boris and Nina’s Therapeutic Forward Flying and more…
Next, this is a playlist of a very talented couple that also happen to be very beautiful inside and out: Boris and Nina. The first two videos about “Forward Flying” are extremely therapeutic both just to watch and to experience. Note how relaxing the first video is. The woman is basing the man and they are both relaxing. This is a beautiful thing, because flyers tend to be women and men tend to be bases. But this video shows that it doesn’t have to be that way. At least that’s what I got out of it. The rest of the videos are very powerful in their own right as well.
Boris and Nina’s Calibration exercises…
In this next video below, Boris and Nina, very enthusiastically and theatrically show us these four exercises that they call “calibration exercises.” They are very, very, very good for strengthening your body and confidence, for both flyer and base. You’re going to have to pause and rewind the video back many times if you’re going to be practicing with them. 🙂
Oh and, they also have a spanish version here. How amazing are they?
As a base, I have learned many basic moves, many of which were covered above, including:
- Entering Bird with No-Hands
- Straddle Throne (Bird to Straddle Throne and back)
- Folded leaf (therapeutic)
- Back fly -> Back fly to Straddle Bat -> Straddle Bat to Bat to Floating Paschi
- High Flying Whale
I was somewhat stuck at this level for a long time. I had learned many other random moves (like foot to hand and hand to hand moves as well) in workshops but none of them ever stuck with me permanently. Recently, I got back into acro-yoga (Thanks to a new partner I’m with) and we went through the rounds of the moves listed above and it wasn’t until we went to an acro-jam on a Sunday in the park where we had a breakthrough to learn a bunch of new moves.
I learned a bunch a few notable moves such as:
- Side Star (This is really hard, honestly, quite complex, required a ton of practice over many sessions)
- Side Star to Straddle Bat to eventually learn Tic Tocs. (My dream move! So much fun for the flyer!!!)
- Candlestick (shoulderstand variation, hands to flyers shoulders)
- Star (shoulderstand variation, feet to flyers shoulders)
- One super helpful thing here was before the flyer kicks up, I reach my hands to the back of the flyers shoulders and push them onto my feet.
- And best of all, the wiggle jiggles for base maintenance.
The Candlestick was probably the easiest one to go to from that list. Star was also easy but required a spotter to help establish that it was in fact easy, because of the lean required of the hips to counterbalance was kind of counter-intuitive. Acro yoga is a very long journey! Anyway, enjoy what you can! And if there’s a meetup group at your local town, definitely join them!