Acro yoga is what it sounds like: a blend of acrobatics, yoga, and something a little less expected – therapeutic healing arts that are focused on listening and being open.
That last part is incredibly important since some of the moves you’ll be working up to are traditional partner acrobatic poses, where one person balances on top of the other, with a third person stationed as spotter. There are also inversions, acrobatic flying, and lots of conditioning to help you get there.
“Learning to balance/balance on another person is a whole different demand on your body,” says Kathy Gade, an instructor at Athletic Playground in Emeryville, California. “You can’t just be aware of yourself but also of your partner.”
The result is a very playful atmosphere that has similarities to yoga in the focus on breath, grace, and balance, but differs in the community aspect. “You are communicating constantly with your partner as opposed to going within for a solo practice,” she says.
Wear It… to Class
Anything you feel comfortable moving in will work great, says Gade. Dress the same way you would for regular yoga.
Say It… For Motivation
“It is super fun and you end up giggling most of the time,” says Gade. This is especially true if you come with a friend, so you already have your spotting partner in place, though it’s not necessary. “On top of that, you will learn super basic partner moves that will impress all your friends.”
And, with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, try it with the special man or lady in your life – it can help with trust and communication, and make for a sensual workout. Check out this amazing acro yoga video from Spafinder® Wellness partner Equinox featuring yoga instructor Briohny Smyth and her husband Dice Iida-Klein:
Most people say that they are not flexible enough, or that what they see when others perform the acrobatic poses looks too difficult.
“Or they say, ‘I’m too big to fly,’” shares Gade. But anyone can do acro yoga no matter their flexibility, experience, size or skill level. “I don’t say much to these people, I just put them in the air and prove them wrong.”
Once in the air, most are immediately converted! Tell us, have you tried acro yoga and if not, would you?
Wendy Toth writes and edits stories about fitness, beauty (inner and outer), health and pets for outlets like The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Weight Watchers and Pet360. She lives in Pennsylvania and Brooklyn, which is complicated, but fun. You can ask her about it through wendytoth.com.