What’s Up With AcroYoga?
Is this practice for me?
Do you remember how you felt to be a kid playing on the monkey bars or in the jungle gym with your friends? Those feelings of freedom and exploration…of laughter and curiosity?
Do you remember how hard the pull-up bar station was? How great it felt to finally feel your own raw strength when you finally achieved your first pull-up?
I experience a similar feeling when engaging with our community of acroyogis. We may not be kids anymore (well…some of us may be) but we’re adults coming together to connect, train, learn, laugh, and play with one another. Instead of playing on a jungle gym or pull-up bars, we’re training and inverting on another person. This requires substantial amounts of patience, communication and trust.
The practice of acroyoga is an incredible and unique journey. It connects people, strengthens and tones the body, and nurtures our relationship with balance. Balance of the body, as well as the mind. This practice can teach you to communicate harmoniously, encourage support of one another, and build trust among your community. This bond can facilitate new experiences that you once thought impossible. The simple attempt of a beginner partner pose (such as “Bird”) could be the catalyst that sparks your acroyoga journey. An acroyogis adventure truly begins with a cocktail of cautious willingness, a positive attitude, and a little bit of trust.
Push Your Comfort Zones…Safely!
Acroyoga is a body contact practice, meaning you do have to touch another person in order to participate. If touch is something you are uncomfortable with, acro may challenge you. But it’s a challenge I recommend you charge full steam ahead at, because the acroyoga environment is set up to be respectful, supportive, and safe. It’s a great opportunity to face fears and overcome mental blocks. Whether your personal obstacle is human touch, being upside down, or trusting someone who pushes your comfort zone, acroyoga can help you break through those barriers. Not just in your personal practice, but in life.
In order to find success in your acro practice, it’s important to communicate with compassion. Certain transitions and flows are difficult, and can stimulate frustration. It’s amazing how powerful a few supportive words like “I’ve got you” or “I’m here” can be. Combine that support with an active spotter, and suddenly anything is possible. Add in some dedicated practice and before you know it, you have expanded your comfort zones and challenged your fears. You’ll probably help someone else do the same at some point. That’s one very magical part about acro. It offers an enormous opportunity to grow and learn together.
Learn, Laugh, Play
It’s not all about the final pose, or completing the hardest transition. Sure, we all want to be badass acroyoga super ninjas, but the secret is…we already are! Acro is about discovering your inner ninja and enjoying the journey along the way. When you realize we’re all in it together, it becomes easier to share your vulnerabilities. It transforms the physical practice of acroyoga into a genuine human experience of heart connection and playful spirit. As previously mentioned, it can make you feel like a kid again, bringing you back to a time when life didn’t feel so serious.
It’s okay to smile, it’s okay to laugh at oneself, it’s okay to fail and try again. Sometimes these notions are forgotten as we get older. We place unrealistic expectations on ourselves and start seeing the world with shades of judgment. Acro is a refresher-course in how to play, release judgement, and reawaken your silly side. There’s nothing like watching a group of acroyogis crash into a puddle of laughter after attempting a posture. Then watching as they pull together, give it a second go and totally nail it. The light in everyone’s eyes, from base to flyer to spotter, is bright and beautiful. That’s acroyoga for you.
It’s All About Community
Acroyoga is also a valuable community-building activity. It creates opportunities to learn, share, explore, problem-solve and to support one another. When a new person enters the world of acro, they will often discover a parade of smiles and willing participants that want to play. This activity is growing so fast, it’s now accessible around the world. The acroyoga community has officially gone global.
My personal experiences with travel have connected me with acroyogis from all over the world, most of which have been kind, caring, and playful individuals. This practice is so special, you can find yourself in the middle of a foreign country and still feel like you’re at “home”.
So let’s get back to the question of “Is acroyoga for me?”. Well, I suggest you give it a try and find out. There are many styles of acroyoga that have taken form since its original conception, giving you many approaches and concentrations to choose from. Whether it’s dance acro, slackro, icarian pops, or therapeutic flying, I’m going to guess there’s a community of acroyogis out there for you. If you want to play but don’t know where to get started, reach out to us and we’ll try to connect you with some fellow acroyogis near you.
This article was a loving collaboration
♥ between contributor Buddy Thomas and editor Lindsi Cagan. ♥