Do you need special training to be an acroyoga teacher?

Q:

Do you need special training to be an acroyoga teacher?

A:

If you’ve been practicing acroyoga for some time, you may decide you’re ready for the next step. Perhaps you have a desire to bring more people to the practice, maybe you love the idea of teaching acro, or possibly you just want a new challenge. Whatever your reason, I’d highly recommend you undertake a specific acroyoga teacher training.

Why? Well, acroyoga teacher training offers a lot more than you’ll likely learn through practicing alone. Here are some of the key elements you’ll explore:

1. Safety

A good acroyoga teacher doesn’t just demonstrate the poses and the transitions, they also look after the safety of participants. Although it may be easy to assume that if you’ve practiced a lot of acroyoga yourself, you’ll be able to teach it effectively, teaching a mixed-ability acroyoga class is very different from organising an acroyoga jam with friends. You need to fully understand how to work with people of different sizes, shapes and abilities, and know how to modify the practice accordingly. Acroyoga is inherently more complex than other forms of yoga, since it often involves more than one body in an almost infinite range of interactions and sequences. To keep people as safe as possible, you need to learn to guide others through this complexity with confidence and precision.

(Learn more in Top 5 Reasons to Practice AcroYoga.)

2. Anatomy

The understanding of anatomy and physiology delivered by an acroyoga teacher training is distinct and different to a standard yoga teacher training, for a number of reasons. Firstly, acroyoga teacher training needs to consider the impact on the body of working in partnership, as well as how to avoid common acroyoga injuries, such as wrist injuries and those caused by falls. It will also let you use your knowledge to assist others in their practice, and empower you to build more therapeutic elements into the practice. Many trainings will even include Thai massage training, due to its inherent links with the acroyoga practice.

3. Sequences

Whilst acroyoga is complex, it relies on a number of fundamental “building block” poses that form the basis of many sequences. Students need to learn these before progressing on to the more advanced sequences. Attending a teacher training endows you with a deeper understanding of how to teach these foundational elements such as Bird, BackBird, Shoulder Stand, Star and Sidestar.

You’ll also increase your bank of poses and sequences learning how to work with people far below and perhaps above your own experience level. Once you're teaching in the real world, this will prove invaluable in order to confidently meet the needs of your students.

4. Support

Through attending an acroyoga teacher training, you’ll access a network of other trainees, teachers, and acroyogis who will support you on your path. Acroyoga is so much about communication and trust, and the bonds you form during intensive teacher training courses will likely be long lasting and rewarding.

Beyond your initial course, many schools will also offer ongoing professional development, further training and workshops.

(Learn more in How 500 Hours of Yoga Teacher Training Changed Me.)

Convinced?

Then it’s worth knowing that usually, in order to attend an acroyoga teacher training course, you need to be able to demonstrate capability in the fundamental poses. Some acroyoga schools request that attendees have already completed a standard 200-hour yoga teacher training, though it’s usually not a prerequisite.

Make sure that when the time is right, you do your research and find a high quality, well-respected training provider. Recommendations from teachers and others in the acro community are invaluable here. Best of luck!

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Written by Jade Lizzie
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Jade is a yoga teacher, blogger and health and wellness geek. Her mission is to share the happiness that yoga has brought into her life.

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