Why try Acro? Short answer: Fun. This hybrid style combining acrobatics and healing arts like Thai massage with yoga can help you take the next step in your practice by connecting you with others while boosting strength, body awareness, and playfulness.
WARM UP Start with three rounds of Sun Salutations to connect to your center and breath before you start working in a partnership. Then do hold Plank Pose for 30 seconds to fire up your core. Practice one backbend of your choice to further warm up your spine.
SAFETY During the sequence, if a pose feels painful or the flyer is on the verge of falling, the base, flyer, or spotter can say “down.” Then everyone brings the flyer safely to the ground. After each pose, rotate roles so that everyone can try basing, flying, and spotting.
REVERSE HAND-TO-HAND GRIP Imagine both the base and flyer have mittens on, fingers together with thumbs out. The flyer’s fingers point toward the base’s face. The base rotates hands at a 45-degree angle out to the side as the flyer clasps the base’s hands. The base and flyer keep arms straight for a full breath cycle, so there’s one long line from the base’s shoulder through the connected hands to the flyer’s shoulder.
PUSH-UPS The base then bends arms as far as comfortable out to the sides 5 times and the flyer keeps arms straight. Both the base and flyer inhale on the way down and exhale on the press up, keeping the abdominal muscles engaged.
This flying pose is just like Plank Pose on the ground, but with more support. Since there are four points of contact, the base and flyer can explore how the balance works.
Chair Pose (Utkatasana) on Shins
The base will build confidence and leg strength by keeping the shins parallel to the floor. The flyer learns to trust the uneven support under their feet.
This is a gentle yet deep backbend for the flyer’s upper thoracic spine. It demands a little more balancing skill from the base. The spotter can help communicate needs between the base and the flyer.
Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
This deeper backbend requires a little more trust. Both the base and the flyer need to communicate that their knees feel good during this transition from High-Flying Whale to Camel. If they don’t, come down and start again.
In this pose, flyers can find a deeper backbend not limited by shoulder or hip flexibility. Once you are comfortable with the balance, Back Bird is both relaxing and invigorating for the flyer.
Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana)
Many yogis find the Acro variation of Boat easier than the traditional pose on the ground because the base’s feet can help the flyer lift higher.