Acro Yoga For Beginners | Everything You Need To Know

by Thursday, August 25, 2016

There are different ways to make yoga exciting for beginners. For one, you can learn how to do Acro yoga. Read this article to find out the basics.

How’s your day going so far? As for me, my mind is still reeling at what happened last night. Some of my girlfriends and I decided to try–wait for it–acro yoga! Let me tell you, my body is incredibly sore right now. It’s an amazing thing I don’t have classes within the next two days, so I have enough time to recover. At this moment, though, I don’t want to talk about my experience in great detail but rather about what I did. I know many of you are interested or curious about what it is.

Acro Yoga For Beginners | Everything You Need To Know

The Styles, The Team, The Lessons, And A Lot More!

If you’ve read health stuff, talked to a yogi, or checked out the latest trends in yoga, then most definitely you’ve come across acro yoga. You want to try it because it looks fun, but before you do, let’s have a bit of education.

Acrobat + Yoga

Acro Yoga For Beginners | Everything You Need To Know

“Acro yoga” is a contraction of “acrobatics” and “yoga.” For a lot of people, the combination doesn’t make sense, but they actually do. First, they promote concentration, flexibility, and strength. Second, they make use of one of the greatest tools you ever have: your body. Moreover, they follow certain techniques to create the right posture that increases health benefits while reducing risks including safety issues.

Two Schools

Do you know there are two schools or styles of acro yoga? The story is somewhat controversial. You see, acro yoga was born in the United States in 2006 when AcroYoga International trademarked the name. The problem is it looks like the word had already been used in 1999 in Montreal. So a lawsuit ensued, and the US group won. Nevertheless, this led us to two styles of acro yoga: Montreal and AcroYoga International. While both have yoga and acrobatics, they differ in terms of the third element.

In Montreal Acro yoga is more creative since they add dance to it. Just check out the image above.

AcroYoga International, on the other hand, promotes healing arts. For instance, when a person is on top of another person’s feet, he or she gently massages them so both benefit from the posture.

Both these schools offer respective classes and teacher certifications.

The A-Team

Acro Yoga For Beginners | Everything You Need To Know

Acro yoga is obviously a partner-type yoga, and usually, you see only two people. But the truth is it can be a community. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to promote communal relationships among the yogis. In a typical scenario, you have the base, the  flyer, and the spotter.

The base is the person at the bottom of a posture, so he or she is the one who’s doing the lifting and providing support to the flyer, who is the person on top. So what does the spotter do? He or she takes care of both! This person can modify the technique or posture alignment as well as secure the safety of the flyer. Normally, one spotter is enough, but if the students are new, there can be two or more, depending on the need.

There’s more! You can do acro yoga with one or more people. How’s that for fostering community?

Beyond Body Development

Acro Yoga For Beginners | Everything You Need To Know

Acro yoga, as mentioned, can develop strength and flexibility whether you’re the base or the flyer. But the practice provides more than these health benefits.

We have the three basic elements of acro yoga: lunar, solar, and yogic. Lunar is about communication and letting go. Solar, meanwhile, is about trust, creativity, and happiness. The yogic element incorporates proper breathing, intuition, self-awareness, and balance.

Don’t forget too, this is a partnership, so both need to practice giving and receiving. Your base will appreciate it if you can massage the legs and feet during or after the session.

A Typical Class

Acro yoga class can significantly vary, but it may not veer too far away from a typical yoga class. For example, it can still begin with an invocation followed by warm-up before it proceeds to postures and techniques. The postures may be flowing, or where one movement leads to another, or may be static. Either way, it always spells F-U-N!

Two Common Misconceptions

Acro Yoga For Beginners | Everything You Need To Know

1. You don’t need to have a steady partner all the time. Of course, it’s great if you know the person you’re doing acro yoga with, but it’s not mandatory. In fact, you can just walk into a class alone!

2. You don’t really have to be physically strong before you can do acro yoga. For example, more flexible people can be flyers. Moreover, other practitioners will tell you this is more about technique than strength, although it helps if you have physical strength so you don’t tire easily.

What to Wear

Acro Yoga For Beginners | Everything You Need To Know

Check out my blog post about yoga attire to find out what to wear during an acro yoga session. Again, you want to be comfortable but not revealing. Please don’t try adding lotion or any oil- or cream-based product on your arms and legs to make sure you can have an excellent grip and avoid slips and slides.

Are you itching to try an acro yoga class for beginners? Here’s a free 5-minute lesson video from Dylan Warner and Ashley Galvin courtesy of Cody – Online Fitness Videos:

Isn’t acro yoga just fun and wonderful? It benefits not only the body but your mind and soul too. But don’t forget this: safety first. Otherwise, can’t wait for your first class!

Excited about acro yoga? Let me know in the Comments section. You may also want to try this partner yoga challenge.

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