We all know about Yoga. It is one of the most popular physical activities for the litany of benefits it can add to your quality of life, as well as how accessible it is for any person who simply wants to get involved.
It helps relax both the mind and body and can lead to a much more peaceful existence as well as helping you feel fit and flexible.
Yoga has been practiced for centuries and the reason for this is its effectiveness, people would not continue to practice yoga if it was not so beneficial for their lifestyle.
Being an activity that has existed for so long, means that yoga has been constantly innovated and improved to keep it interesting and encourage wider and wider demographics to give it a try.
While some of the innovations do not stick around, others become staples of the practice and are now considered core principles of the activity.
One of the newest styles of yoga which is rapidly gaining popularity is named AcroYoga. AcroYoga, as you can imagine from the name, is a combination of yoga with elements of acrobatics.
This trend has brought together yoga enthusiasts as well as acrobatics enthusiasts to learn from each other’s practices and innovate into a whole new type of activity.
So what is AcroYoga? Is it more similar to yoga or acrobatics? What are its benefits? And why should you try it?
All of these questions and more are answered in this article. So read on to find out everything you need to know about AcroYoga.
Where Did AcroYoga Come From?
AcroYoga is unique in how it combines techniques from two very different practices, it is also agreed that this combination also adopts a lot of aspects of the Thai yoga massage practice which is popular for how effective it is in relieving stress and tension.
The yoga elements that are most present within AcroYoga include the traditional Vinyasa Flow as well as Hatha Yoga which gained traction in the late 90s and have regained their popularity in recent history.
This is combined with the foundational skills found in acrobatics.
Those who regularly practice AcroYoga show signs of increased mental and physical quality of life because of them partaking in this activity.
What is unique about AcroYoga is how gravity is greatly removed from the equation instead prioritizing physical strength as well as your stretching abilities.
As well as testing these aspects of your fitness, they also work to improve them. However, this is also what makes this practice challenging, as well as intimidating for newcomers.
What Are The Benefits Of AcroYoga?
Community And Communication
One aspect of AcroYoga which fans of the activity say is the most beneficial is the sense of community it creates through the combination of these two drastically unique interests.
With this practice becoming rapidly more popular, there is a growing global community meaning that wherever you live, it is likely there is at least one other enthusiast near you giving you a great chance for connection and personal bonds.
Another aspect of the AcroYoga phenomenon is the growing frequency of AcroYoga festivals and community gatherings to join together and enjoy this unique activity.
This also makes the process of joining the practice a lot more accessible, because even though it is quite physically demanding, having connections with people who are already involved makes learning a lot easier.
Occasions like this make creating connections with similar minded people significantly easier and especially if you have just moved into a new area, activities like this make building a social network much more achievable.
This sense of community and communication feeds into one of the unique aspects of the practice, being partner work.
This is what makes AcroYoga feel more similar to acrobatics rather than its yoga foundations as a lot of AcroYoga activities are done in pairs instead of yoga which can largely be done alone.
Of course this helps strengthen relationships, but also is great for learning how to get a much more precise control over your body and learning how your movements affect others that are physically and mentally relying on you.
This will help give you different perspectives on shared experiences as well as promoting interpersonal understanding.
These are very important skills that should always be getting developed to have the best quality of life and relationships as possible.
Having a strong mutual understanding with an AcroYoga partner is key to thriving in this practice and helps foster a strong sense of community that draws in so many people.
While working closely with your partners in AcroYoga you will need to maintain a high level of focus to make sure that your poses are pulled off without mistake as you are all completely codependent on each other to make sure it succeeds.
This helps foster a connection like mentioned in the past point, but also helps you pick up on physical cues that are often overlooked by those who do not practice such a complex activity.
Having a role (which is discussed later) also helps give a good place of belonging and usefulness as well as giving you a task to focus and concentrate on.
These roles can be further developed by honing your concentration through meditation, another key aspect of AcroYoga.
AcroYoga Helps You Find And Train Your Core
Building your core muscles can be quite difficult and require a lot of effort to do so with just yoga. But in AcroYoga this a lot more natural part of the experience.
This is because AcroYoga uses all of your body as well as a lot more concentrated pressure on different parts of your body. AcroYoga uses all of your body as well as requiring different types of motion all with a strong focus on balancing to tie it all together.
All of these movements mean you will need a strong center powering all your movements and supporting you and engaging with your partner to be as successful as possible.
This aspect is just as important whether you are a base or a flyer as you will be needing your core to be built just as much for either role.
If you feel like your core is not being challenged enough with standard yoga, AcroYoga is a great way to build this up.
AcroYoga Helps You Learn To Deal With Conflict
With such a co-operative activity which relies on communication and personal connections so much, tension can easily become an issue and this can devolve into conflict quite easily.
Luckily because this is quite a light-hearted activity to be getting into conflict over, it can train you to learn how to get over conflict with your partner quickly and efficiently.
So when one person leads to a pose failing it can be easy for them to be the recipient of blame, but since this is something that happens so commonly in an activity like this, it makes it a lot easier to overcome these hurdles and learn to make up quickly while not retaining any bad feelings.
AcroYoga Helps With Quick Decision-Making
With an activity as simple but simultaneously complex as AcroYoga it is easy for anything to throw you off balance relatively quickly.
This can lead to mistakes feeling like they come out of nowhere, especially if you do not have a spotter present.
This means that with more and more practice with AcroYoga you will quickly learn how to pick up and observe when problems are coming, but more importantly will help you pick up quick decision-making skills , so you can react and potentially completely avoid dealing with issues that can come up.
If you feel like you are not adaptive enough, or you really struggle with quick reactions and decision-making, not just in activities like AcroYoga, but also just in your daily life.
Continues practice in this activity can dramatically improve your abilities in these areas!
AcroYoga Helps Overcome A Fear Of Falling
While this may feel like quite a niche issue, if you take the role of flyer in AcroYoga you can really help overcome your fear of falling.
When being a flyer, you will inevitably fall while practicing, but with so many safety measures in place, you will be able to deal with this issue in controlled circumstances and cope with the aftermath without any pain.
If you panic in situations like these, you can gradually work up from a base to trying flying and learn to overcome and cope with what may be troubling you.
AcroYoga Helps With Surrendering
In AcroYoga you will not have all the control, this is just a foundational aspect of the activity.
If you are in the base you may feel like you have more control, but if the flyer falls, there is nothing you can do to stop that.
And if you are the flyer and the base’s support wavers, you will not be able to do much to help this.
This is what makes this such a unique activity as there are very few activities that make you so reliant on another person’s help and support.
This can be particularly useful for people who struggle with control issues and do not know how to surrender themselves to losing control.
If you want to actively tackle an issue like this which is damaging your quality of life, taking up AcroYoga and letting go some of your control is a great way to start.
What Are The 3 Roles In AcroYoga?
Within AcroYoga there are 3 main roles which you can partake in, you do not have to commit to one, but knowing them well will help you better understand this unique phenomenon.
The base is the participant who remains in contact with the ground. This participant is responsible for supporting the flyer with their arms and legs and need to remain a sturdy foundation for the activity to work.
The flyer is the most dynamic but also the most crucial role in AcroYoga. As the name suggests, the flyer is the person who is lifted off of the ground by the base and changes positions based on their balance and desired movement.
While they rely on the base to keep them steady, they also need a very strong sense of balance, so they do not fall.
Similar to a lot of other sports, a spotter is required to observe the base and the flyer to help with safety in case there are any unexpected failures as well as to give advice and take notes.
This role is great for experienced AcroYoga Yogis to help teach new starters, but also great for new AcroYoga Yogis to observe how to achieve what they want to.
How To Get Involved With Acroyoga?
As previously mentioned, there are a lot of gatherings dedicated to either improving your AcroYoga or simply starting the activity.
This includes lesson, camps, retreats, festivals, and a massive variety of other activities.
All you need to do is a quick search, and it is very likely there is at least a small local community dedicated to teaching and spreading this activity so as many people as possible can reap the rewards of consistent training and effort.
The people who practice this activity tend to be very calm and inviting so do not feel intimidated to consult them on whether this activity is best for you!
So this is everything you need to know about AcroYoga and how it will benefit you and improve your quality of life.
While some of these points may have seemed obvious, I am sure there are some you may have overlooked!
The sense of community and the way this activity will enrich your life, mind and body is unmatched by a lot of other similar activities and the amount of people who are joining the practice is increasing every day!