Tuesday, October 13, 2015

All About Acro Yoga

Photo by Sufey
First off, what is Acro Yoga?
Acro Yoga is a mixture of yoga postures and poses with partnered acrobatics. It can also take on therapeutic massage depending on the style. It's also a ridiculous good time.
While most Acro Yoga poses show only 2 individuals, there are 3 roles in Acro Yoga. The base, the flyer and the spotter.
And check out my favourite Acro Yoga Video below to see the lovely flow that can develop with time and practice:

The Base:
The base refers to the person who is supporting the flyer. The base is often laying on the ground and is lifting and supporting the flier using their legs and hands.
The Flyer:
The Flyer is the awesome and lucky individual who gets to be lifted into the air and supported while moving into fun and challenging positions.
The Spotter:
The spotter is not typically involved in the Acro poses but is there to support the flyer and base in learning and moving through Acro transitions and new moves. The spotters role is to ensure safety and avoid injuries for all parties. The spotter is often not seen in photos or videos but is a key role in the learning journey.

I was first introduced to Acro Yoga by way of pole doubles workshops at Pole Expo in 2013 and to the fundamentals of Acro Yoga later by a lovely new friend. You can read about my first adventure in Acro Yoga HERE.
Naturally I have tried to get many of my friends and loved one involved in it over the years with mixed success. A few of my partners have had the strength to base but not the hamstring flexibility and my friends who had the flexibility did not have the strength or the interest. So I started basing a lot to show others the fun in flying. A few have entertained me over the years from time to time but only my youngest sister has really taken much of an interest in it. My sister is also one of the lighter and tinier people I know so basing for her is easier then basing for my taller or heavier friends and loved ones. (but I have not let that stop me from basing for my 6 foot tall 200+ lbs loved ones either)

Anyways flash forward to the present and I am now taking Yoga Teacher Training by that same wonderful friend who introduced me to the fundamentals and I am happy to say that Acro is one of the many yoga styles we are touching on. And now that my sister is living with me, I have a captive person to make play Acro with me and a better understanding of the yoga foundations in which to try all the new moves with!
Now when things interest me I like to learn more about them, and when I can't figure stuff out, that means it's time to research. All of my learning and research has started me with a growing collection of internet resources that I would love to share with anyone else out there who is interested in dabbling in or learning Acro Yoga.

Please note that as with any physical sport or activity, there are always risks involved. These risks can be avoided by learning formally in classes,  always having spotters, ongoing communication between all parties involved, and even using crash mats. And, as always, listen to your body. If something doesn't feel good, don't do it. And please make sure to stretch out your own and your partner's bodies. These moves can be hard on both the flyer and the base. And make sure to high five and give you spotter some love too!

Free online instruction for the base, the flyer and the spotter in basic beginner moves to advanced moves in a 10 part series. Also check out their channel for lots of other Acro Yoga and partnered yoga moves. This series is one of my absolute favourites for Acro instruction. i love how they take the time to break down the move from the perspective of each individual involved.

A great list of Acro moves, broken down by level of difficulty. No instructions are provided but a great resource to get ideas and inspiration from.

An intro to Acro Yoga and some great exercises for individual who are new to it and unsure if they can support their Acro partners weight. I like their warm up poses and suggestions as well. Also check out their Acro Yoga Sequence for Beginners Video HERE a great intro to building strength and understanding how it all works :)

An Introduction to Acro Yoga
A great article on the history of and the techniques used in Acro. this is a great read with lots of outside links and videos as well :)

8 Things You Need To Know About Acro Yoga
A great read on the benefits of it and frequently asked questions

I will try to add to this list as I find other resources that are helpful but please feel free to suggest any that have helped you. Read through them and take to heart the ones that speak to you. I am excited to grow in my yoga journey and to learn more about Acro yoga as a whole. I do know that whatever form my yoga teacher journey takes, there is a good chance Acro will have a role within it.
<3 KiKi

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