How do you get into AcroYoga? What experience do you need first?

Q:

How do you get into AcroYoga? What experience do you need first?

A:

Great question, and the simple answer is, not a lot!

Many people are put off acroyoga, because they think it’s only for experienced gymnastics-types who already have a willing partner to join them. The good news is, that’s not actually the case. Acroyoga looks impressive, and can certainly be challenging, but the same can be said for many styles of yoga. As with any practice, it simply takes time, an open mind, and a willingness to have a go.

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

Let’s dispel some of the common myths about starting acroyoga...

“Do I need to be really strong?”

No. While strength is important, much of what looks difficult is achieved by stacking bones, which means aligning ankles over knees over hips, or wrists over elbows over shoulders. Good technique makes all the difference. Additionally, you’ll build strength through the practice itself.

In acroyoga, one partner usually takes the role of the “base”, the person on the ground who supports the other partner, who becomes the “flyer." Often the larger, heavier person will become the base and the smaller, lighter person will be the flyer, but this doesn’t always have to be the way - there are some very impressive tiny-but-mighty bases out there.

One of the wonderful aspects of acroyoga is that the poses are obtained through an amalgamation of effort by both partners, with each person able to compensate for any weakness of the other, and able to draw on the strength of their partner when they need it. Together, after all, we are stronger.

“What about flexibility?”

Again, you’ll build flexibility through the practice. For the base, acroyoga builds great strength and flexibility in the hamstrings, quads, shoulders and arms. For the flyer, core and hip flexibility and strength will develop over time too. Remember, you don’t need to be maestro on your first try!

(Learn more in Bend Without Breaking: 10 Yoga Poses to Increase Flexibility in Body, Mind, and Spirit.)

“But I don’t have a partner.”

Don’t worry. If you attend an acroyoga class, you’ll be partnered up there, and there’s often an assistant ready in case there are odd numbers. Acroyoga classes are a great way of meeting and connecting with new people. When your practice develops further, it’s fun to build trust and rapport with a regular partner, but in the early stages, practicing with different people will help you learn the nuances and techniques even better.

“I’ve got no experience.”

Nobody starts anything new with experience. Most acroyoga classes will consist of lots of beginners and a few more experienced practitioners anyway, so you’ll be in good company. A good teacher will help guide you through the basics safely and enjoyably, so you can begin to put together the various building blocks to develop a fun and safe practice.

Convinced? Then let’s get started...

I’d definitely recommend going to classes with an experienced teacher, at least initially while you learn the basics. You can search online for acroyoga classes in your area, or ask yoga friends for recommendations.

If you want to have a play by yourself with friends or partners, grab your yoga mat and find a place clear from clutter with enough room to move around in safely and not worry about knocking anything over. Ideally, practice in a group of three or more, so one person can spot the base and flyer, helping guide them into the poses and supporting them if they topple.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy some acro-playing. No experience necessary, just curiosity, openness and a sense of humour!

Have a question? Ask us here.

View all questions from Jade Lizzie.

Share this:
Written by Jade Lizzie
Profile Picture of Jade Lizzie

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.

 Full Bio

Related Tags