If you are willing to get into acro yoga and start doing acro yoga, but not really sure where to start and how to plunge into it, then this article is for you. Here we talk about the mental and other preparations that you need to take to starting doing acro yoga at home and eventually turn it to be a virtuous habit. Stay Tuned.
Being a yoga enthusiast (or not), we have all come across the weird sounding term “Acro Yoga”. So, what is it? The term as we can all see is a combination of two words- acrobatics and yoga. Well, that’s just the term. In its true nature and form, Acro Yoga is a combination of three elements: Acrobatics, Yoga and Thai Massage (healing and therapeutic practices).Simply describing, Acro Yoga is a combined form of yoga, but what it really is about is healing, mind-body connection, trust and challenges which help in bringing about a sense of community among practitioners. Therefore, Acro Yoga involves a great deal of practising with your partner- both of you trying to achieve the same goals and get better with your yoga practice.
Basics Of Acro Yoga
The basic characteristic of Acro Yoga which makes it different from the other types of yoga is, it involves two individuals in the performance. They together perform spectacular postures and figures with their bodies off the ground while maintaining balance, strength, flexibility and of course complete trust on one another.
There’s also a lot of communication and deep understanding involved between the two.These two individuals play two different roles during an Acro Yoga session- the base and the flyer. Along with the participants, a spotter is also recommended especially for those who are starting out initially.
It is the individual who holds a firm contact with the ground (usually with their whole back). They are the ones who lift the other person (the flyer). The base may involve their hands, legs and even other body parts to provide support to the flyer.
Very evidently, the flyer flies. It is the flyer who elevate themselves on the firm base and soars high up in the air creating dynamic poses and postures. And therefore, they are the ones who need to develop immense trust, balance and core strength.Like trust, the base and the flyer must constantly communicate with one another. Initially, verbal communication is encouraged between the two, but as you gradually advance in your progress you’ll find both of your bodies have found a natural way of communication.
The role of the spotter is usually and highly recommended, especially for beginners. They are the ones who take care of the ‘safe landings’. Your spotter could be your instructor, your friend or someone who you are comfortable with.
The fundamental function of the spotter is to make sure that no one gets hurt and therefore should stand beside the base and the flyer focusing on their movements without actively participating in the forms.
Also, read our popular post on Yoga Vs Gym.
How To Start Acro Yoga?
You must have seen many people performing this form of yoga effortlessly- flowing from one move to another. This probably has got you convinced that this sporty and flexible yoga is not really your type of workout. Well, that isn’t true at all.
Performing Acro Yoga does involve a minimum level of strength and flexibility, but it can be performed by anyone and everyone. Nothing looks or feels simple at first. But, practicing makes one perfect. So, you’ve got to keep practicing to achieve that effortlessness in your moves if you are really into it.So, if you are planning to take on this challenge and wondering how to go about it, let us first tell you, there are few things that you must remember before getting onto the bandwagon.
Things To Consider Before You Start Doing Acro Yoga
OK, here are few things that you must know before you start doing Acro Yoga.
Instructor and Guidance
The primary and probably the most important step to start Acro Yoga, is to find a certified instructor. This will help you experience this form of yoga better and also deem a lot safer for you- physically.
Finding a yoga instructor will also help you achieve the maximum therapeutic benefits from it. Getting professional instruction right from the beginning will also help you build a strong foundation of the practice which is rather important as a beginner. So, get yourself a private session with a certified Acro Yoga Instructor or enroll yourself in a class in your locality.
Start From The Basics
As we already know, Acro Yoga involves some amount of flexibility and strength. Therefore, it is always best to start right from the basics and start slowly. Start with beginner’s classes and climb your way up as you develop both strength and flexibility till you achieve your goals.
It is never a good idea to start with advanced positions as it may lead to injuries and many other problematic things which may make you lose interest altogether.
Creating A Solid Foundation
When you take on the challenge of learning and developing a new skill, it is very important to build a strong foundation. It works the same way for Acro Yoga. To create that solid foundation, as a beginner, first you need to develop is bring about stability in your body.
With stability we mean, you need to be able to hold your body still without having to lean on or hold on to anything for support. The second step to building a strong foundation is to develop trust on your partner or on yourself.
Along with this you also need to bring in lightness in your body, allowing yourself to stay fluid while being firm and tight. The third step is the most important step where you learn to focus, spot danger and communicate. Building these foundational skills will ensure your growth and progress for more exciting and effortless flows.
Having An Open Mind
It is very difficult to learn and develop any skill if you have a pessimistic attitude towards it right from the beginning. Especially for Acro-Yoga. No matter how many times you fail or feel hesitant, you need to develop a positive mindset and determination.
It is all about practicing and having patience. Having an open mind will also trigger your curious nature to discovering it. Both these things together will drive you to ultimate success.
Injuries and Pains
Injuries and pains is yet another thing that you must keep in mind. Especially, before you start with Acro Yoga. In case you have any prior injuries or any other physical conditions, it is important to convey it to your yoga instructor. Or else, it may end up affecting your practice.
They are the best people who can gauge your abilities right from the beginning in spite of those limitations. They will tell you exactly what to avoid and what to participate in.
Bringing A Friend Or A Trusted Partner
Acro Yoga is a type of yoga which involves a partner (mostly). Therefore, you need to get a partner to practice with, rely on and support one another- someone you are very comfortable with and want to share a life-changing experience like this.
If there’s no one who wants to accompany you, that’s okay too! Convey to your yoga instructor that you are new and they will pair you up with someone suitable. We understand if you are a little hesitant about getting so close to a random person.
But you need to keep an open mind and know that everyone is here to do the same. So, both trust and having an open mind comes into play in this factor.
Benefits Of Doing Acro Yoga
Now that you are convinced and determined to jump onto the bandwagon of Acro Yoga, let us discuss a little about its benefits.Like all other forms of yoga, Acro Yoga has a number of benefits- not only physical benefits but also spiritual, mental and therapeutic benefits too.
Physical Health Benefits
#1 Develops great core strength. To keep your body and positions still, it is important to have a strong core which beginners develop gradually.
#2 Builds body awareness and what every part of your body is doing- how it is moving and how you’re positioning it.
#3 Improves body balance and Definitely improves body flexibility with stronger core and muscles.
#4 Helps the Cardio-Vascular System to function better.
#5 Provides stronger and flexible joints.
Mental Health Benefits
#1 Improves concentration and Works as a natural mood-booster.
#2 Helps you to stay active and refreshed.
# Lets your mind stay rejuvenated all day long.
#1 Removes barriers, prejudices and helps get people together, which in turn helps in life to build stronger and better relationships.
#2 Forms deep connection with partner and everyone around.
#3 Enhances communication- both verbal and non-verbal.
#4 Improves sensitivity and self-esteem.
#5 Improves awareness and presence.
Therefore, in a nutshell, Acro Yoga is all about strength, balance, flexibility and trust! But most importantly, it’s a whole lot of fun! With all-encompassing benefits, it is gaining popularity all across the world. Now that you have decided to take on the challenge, go ahead and give it a go! Prepare yourself to fly!
Also, in case you are interested please do take a look at our post on yoga for baseball pitchers.