Have you ever tried performing a down dog, a locust or a plank yoga pose while being held up by your partner or friend? Have you tried holding up a partner in the savasana or wind-relieving positions? According to Google Trends, the art and practice of acroyoga is gaining national popularity with a steady increase in interest from 2012 to present.
Acroyoga literally and figuratively elevates the connection between you and others through movement and play. Acro in Greek means high, or elevated while Yoga in Sanskrit commonly translates to notions of union, or joining. Acroyoga invites practitioners to tap into infinite possibilities of communication, trust and union with another person. It is a blend of three other related practices: solar aerobics, lunar therapy, and yogic practices and involves three active partners with one playing the base, one as the flyer and one as the spotter. The base or the person that physically supports the flyer is usually larger than the flyer, who is generally determined by size with the larger person taking the base position. The spotter, however, may be any size as long as they are able to provide balance and ensure safety. The flyer utilizes gravity to release his or her spine whilst grounding and empowering the base while maintaining beautiful flying flows and yogi positions that can range from gentle, massaged-based stretches to more dynamic balancing or acrobatic sequences. The more experienced the flyer and the base are, the more space for spontaneity as endless possibilities of creativity arise.
Before you begin to think you’re not fit or flexible enough for acroyoga, think again, because acroyoga is for everyone. You really don’t need to be an advanced yogi, gymnast or circus acrobat to enjoy this art. Acroyoga doesn’t work against gravity, it works with it. The techniques and building blocks you will learn are much more important than your strength, especially if you’re counterbalancing someone twice your size. Building trust with your partner through acroyoga is developed as you learn to take control by letting go. As you learn to support others, you also learn to allow yourself to be supported by others. In doing so, acroyoga fosters direct, open and compassionate verbal communication amongst partners.
If you enjoy yoga and feel a rush of excitement at the prospect of being upside down supported by your partner or supporting your partner as a base, then acroyoga is for you. In a contemporary society where everyone seems to closer to their smartphone than their partner, acroyoga continues to break down our barriers through movement and authentic connection.
Flyer: The person who is at the pinnacle of the pose.
Base: The person positioned at the bottom of the move; supports the flyer.
Spotter: A person who is not involved in the pose but provides additional balance to ensure safety.