AcroYoga integrates acrobatics, yoga, and Thai massage techniques, all in one flowing and loving sequence. The focus on community, health, partnership, and trust here supercedes that of many other styles of yoga.
Want to know how you will benefit from sharing in this creative and playful form of asana? Here are seven reasons to practice AcroYoga with your yogi partners and peers.
1. It improves your concentration.
In order to work closely with your partner or partners, you must consciously focus on maintaining presence without distraction. Your partner’s safety, as well as your own, depends on your ability and willingness to read each other’s physical, verbal, and visual cues without much discussion.
Practice the following meditations to help you confidently embody your role in the posture.
Base: Plant your roots, stay strong yet flexible, and see yourself as a pillar of support, knowing you have all the abundance you need from above and below.
Flyer: Visualize yourself as light as a feather, spread your wings, and fly free, enveloped in a loving and supportive embrace.
2. It encourages you to find your core.
The core muscles can often elude us during static postures when practicing individually.
However, AcroYoga utilizes your whole body in varying planes of motions and points of balance.By the sheer dynamic nature of these movements, you have no choice but to depend on one solid center of gravity—by simultaneously engaging mula and uddiyana bandha.
No doubt, your ability to float and not feel like “deadweight” comes from staying connected from deep within your core.
3. It helps build relationships.
Finding unity within partnership promotes deep self-love, an increased empathy for others, and a shared respect for one another's boundaries. Intuitive communication experienced as "knowing" leads to mutually enhancing relationships.
4. It lets you confront conflict head-on.
Whenever tension arises within a relationship, we usually circumvent it and hope it will go away. Whatever we ignore tends to fester and take on a life of its own, however, leading to needlessly explosive arguments.
AcroYoga shows you that through opposing forces (i.e. push vs pull) you can achieve power through counterbalance, which allows for differing opinions as well as peaceful resolution.
5. It teaches you to make quick decisions.
Proprioception, or the awareness of your body moving through space, takes practice. AcroYoga trains you to master self-control without rigidly attaching to external circumstances, because anything can shift and knock you off your center.
You will fine-tune your ability to skillfully adapt to change as it arises, while maintaining serenity and not losing your cool, which is what causes you to bail too quickly. You will walk that fine line between perseverance and non-attachment.
If you tend to take flight in your personal life (i.e. whimsical, impulsive, and indecisive), AcroYoga may initially appeal to your free spirit. However, the responsibility and extreme partner work here compels you to make decisions to keep yourself and your partner safe while exploring new territories together.
6. It allows you to overcome your fear of falling.
A huge part of climbing to amazing heights is making your way back down again, and AcroYoga teaches you how to defy gravity gracefully through mindful deceleration.
In addition to having the helping hand (or leg) of your partner or partners, which keeps you from panicking, you will learn that a skillful landing matters just as much as a powerful liftoff, and through this process find peace amidst your fears.
7. It brings you to surrender.
When was the last time you paused to receive gratitude in your life? Often, life requires us to stay on a continuum of giving, doing, and providing support to others. In order to practice therapeutic AcroYoga, one person does not shoulder all of the responsibility all of the time.
You must allow yourself to give and receive in equal proportions. For instance, offering “leg love” to the base (a loving touch in the form of a gentle massage), makes gratitude for yourself and for your partner a living and active part of the sequence.
Most AcroYoga classes do not require that you bring a partner, so feel free to just show up and see what happens next!
If you want to intensify your practice with some supported high-flying, circus-style poses, need some fresh inspiration for your yoga routines, or just crave some helpful hands-on assists, AcroYoga will not disappoint.
Image credit: Judy Rukat