Have you ever wanted to share your yoga practice with someone special beyond merely practicing in the same space or meditating together? Then acro yoga could be the perfect new form of yoga that you’ve been searching for that will take your practice to a whole new dimension, where you can use yoga to unify your body, mind, and spirit with someone else’s while developing a deep sense of trust and relinquishing your fears.
Before embarking on an acro yoga program, it’s a good idea to have a solid understanding of this ancient system of poses that are meant to heal the body and mind while enlightening your spirit. Spending time developing your own personal practice can be helpful when it comes to being able to share what you’ve learned and experienced through yoga with a fellow yogi. Therefore, consider taking a course that will allow you to immerse yourself into the world of yoga, learning proper alignment for various asanas to prevent injuries and reap the most powerful benefits. You may even wish to advance your practice by diving into inversion poses, which are discussed in this blog post, because they’ll teach you how to trust your own body and not be afraid of being upside down. However, even if you’re a beginner, you can try acro yoga because, under the guidance of the right instructor, you’ll catch on quickly and surprise yourself with all that you can do. Once you’re ready, you can dive into acro yoga, which will take your average pose to a new level and bring even more fun and a sense of adventure to your practice.
Developing an Understanding of Acro Yoga
If you’ve ever seen photos or videos online of two people in a dynamic yoga pose together, you already have an idea of what acro yoga is all about. Rather than getting into an asana on your own, you’re sharing the experience of that pose with someone else. But, in addition to the emotional and spiritual connection you’ll share with that fellow yogi, you’ll also be teaching your body how to build more strength in new ways.
In essence, acro yoga is really a healing art combined with the traditional concepts of yoga and acrobatics. And you don’t have to restrict yourself to working with one partner all the time, either. Nor do you have to worry about working only with someone you’re romantically involved with. Instead, acro yoga is meant to help you get rid of your shyness and learn how to connect with a variety of people. It doesn’t even matter how strong you are or how big you are because you’ll learn how to use your body to lift someone else of any size right up by utilizing the right technique and having no fear of gravity. And you’ll also learn how to let go and really trust in the strength of someone else to hold you up without letting you fall, while communicating with them to ensure you both remain safe and can accomplish a difficult pose together. These lessons of strength, trust, communication, and letting go will be concepts that you can then carry with you into your daily life and into your relationships. And that’s ultimately how yoga will transform your life and the way you see the world.
Ready to expand your very personal and solo home yoga practice? Continue reading to check out some of the most popular acro yoga poses. Then find a local yoga studio offering courses in this dynamic and very fun art so that you can begin exploring it and learning all it has to offer.
Popular Acro Yoga Poses
Again, yogis of all experience levels can try out acro yoga, but you should progress gently by establishing a connection with a trusted partner in beginner poses first and then moving on to more advanced postures. Below are some of the most popular acro yoga poses of varying levels of difficulty.
Downward dog is quite possibly the definitive yoga pose, so it should come without surprise that there’s an acro yoga version of it that you can perform with a partner. To execute this pose, both of you need to be in tabletop pose, but one of you should be in front of the other. Then move into a traditional down dog position.
If you’re in front of your partner, you can begin to walk your feet up his or her back until your feet are resting on the hips. Hold there for a few breaths before coming out of it gently by allowing the person behind you to come back to tabletop pose and then child’s pose, letting your feet gently come down to the floor.
Twisting poses are perfect for releasing tension and toxicity from the body. They literally wring your body out like a sponge so that all of the stagnant energy can begin moving again. By performing it with a partner, you can get a nice deep twist and have a little fun.
To start, all you have to do is sit in a comfortable cross-legged position with your backs touching. Take this pose slowly by gently breathing in and out of your nose and really feeling the presence of your partner and your connection to that person. Next, inhale as you lift both arms up overhead to lengthen and stretch the back out. As you exhale, bring your arms down, placing your right hand on your partner’s knee as he or she does the same to you. You can rest your left hand on your right knee. Hold for a few breaths, enjoying the twist, before relaxing by unwinding back to center and doing the same movement to the other side.
Forward Bend Lounge
Both you and your partner will experience a relaxing and deep stretch in this pose, but be sure to switch positions because each person gets a different stretch at the same time.
To start, have your partner sit on the ground with the legs extended before coming down into a seated forward bend. Once he or she is comfortable, you can begin to gently sit on your partner’s lower back. Slowly lie down onto your partner’s back, communicating throughout the process to make sure your partner feels okay along the way. As you lie down, you can then extend your arms overhead and your legs towards straight. After a few breaths, slowly sit up, come off your partner, and then switch positions.
Start facing one another in a seated position. Reach out and grab each other’s wrists, holding tightly and using that power to straighten your back and lift your chest to the sky as your partner mirrors your movement. Your knees should be bent and your toes should be touching those of your partner. Next, bring the knees towards your chest with the soles of your feet touching those of your partner. Begin straightening the legs next, starting with one leg at a time if you are a beginner. Hold for a few breaths before releasing slowly.
This pose is all about balance, but it also creates a great connection between you and your partner.
Begin by simply standing facing your partner, holding one of his or her hands. Bend one ankle and reach for your ankle or your foot with your other hand. Your partner should mirror this movement. As you slowly lean forward, bring your leg back and up until you find yourself in dancer’s pose.
You can try getting into the pose at the same time as your partner to challenge yourselves, or let one partner go at a time if you have difficulty balancing. Remain in the pose, maintaining eye contact throughout, before gently releasing down and straightening up to the starting position.
Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
This stretch is great for the inner thighs, the backs of the legs, and the back, but with the assistance of a partner, you can go even deeper. Start by sitting on the floor facing your partner. Spread your legs out as wide as they’ll go, touching the bottoms of your feet to your partner’s. Reach out and grab each other’s forearms and straighten your backs as you breathe in.
One partner should then start to lean back, keeping the back straight, and the other bends forward, also keeping the back as straight as possible. Relax gently into the pose, inhaling and exhaling as you go deeper without forcing yourself into it. Hold there for a few breaths until you’re ready to come out of it. To do so, release your hands and gently come back up to seated.
Performing a full bow pose with a partner can be very different from doing it solo because you can actually invert the pose and do it upside down to get a good stretch and open up the body in a new way. Make sure you move slowly through this pose, as it can be difficult for beginners.
Have your partner lie down on the floor and bend his or her knees, lifting the feet towards the ceiling so that you can sit the back of your hips onto his or her feet. Your partner will have to bend the knees at first, but should then begin to bring the legs towards straight, lifting you up at the same time as you balance your hips on his or her feet. You can hold onto your partner’s ankles as he moves so that you don’t lose your balance.
Once the legs are straight, with the ankles, knees, and hips aligned, you can let go and let your arms dangle towards your partner’s chest. If you want to go deeper, grab your own ankles just as you would in a traditional bow pose. Once you’re ready to come down, your partner should gently bend the knees and lower you until your feet touch the ground.
As with all forms of yoga, the key to a successful and safe practice is listening to what your body is telling you and honoring what you’re feeling. Never push your body beyond its limits, and scale back the intensity if you find that you’re having difficulty breathing or holding a pose.
Once you’ve a found a great partner to work with, you can learn about each other’s strengths and weaknesses and help one another grow and develop in myriad ways. You may even consider taking an at-home yoga retreat together or a meditation retreat course that will introduce stillness and reflection into your lives. These practices will also allow you to listen to your inner voice so that you can bring that wisdom to your acro yoga classes and to all other aspects of your existence, bringing forth more joy, prosperity, and clarity in all that you do.