Acroyoga (also written Acro-Yoga or Acro Yoga) is a physical practice that’s a cross between, yoga, acrobatics and believe it or not, Thai Massage. Acroyoga is more commonly refereed to as Acro by practitioners and includes all types of partner and group acrobatics in which at least someone is lifted. As such it also draws on traditions of circus arts, cheer-leading, and dance acro. More importantly, it includes poses ANYONE, and I mean, ANYONE, (including two 6 footers after too many White Claw hard seltzers) can do.
Acroyoga has been practiced since the beginning of the century. One of the oldest videos of someone doing Acroyoga is with Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, practicing the role of the base, while a child executed some asanas in 1938. Since then, Acroyoga has gained new movements, and is still changing.
Recently on a beach trip, Suzanne Williams and I decided to try our hand at some of the favorite poses we had been researching online. We learned a lot and had so much fun trying it out. Here are our tips for when you feel brave enough to grab a friend and get bendy.
Stretch first. No matter the pose, it is important to limber up as Acro is known for causing injuries due to falls or a partner losing their balance.
Surfaces: Find a soft and we mean soft, surface to practice on. The beach provided an excellent shock absorber for our inevitable spills. Even though Suzanne did bruise her tailbone on a particularly nasty fall. We recommend grass, or gym mats as well.
Poses: Start easy! Each person should get into their poses first and get a feel for the balance required. Poses can be as simple or challenging as you want. Decide who will be the base and be flexible about changing positions if needed. Some poses will not work at all, that’s fine, adapt!
Clothing: Partners should find a single color or wear complimentary colors to not distract from the poses.
Director: Find one person to position you according to the pose picture you selected. Your arms, legs and most importantly, your balance will feel one way and look another. For good pictures you will want as straight a line as possible.
Photographer: All photos should be taken at an angle to emphasize the pose and balance of the posers and they should be established AHEAD of time. A lot of these pose cannot be held very long so make are the photographer knows where they will be shooting right away.
We found the best pose pictures were taken with direct sunlight avoiding shadows whenever possible.
Most importantly, have fun! Acroyoga is great exercise and a super fun bonding activity with your friends!