What is AcroYoga
“Work honestly, meditate everyday, meet people without fear and play.” Baba Hari Dass
What is AcroYoga?
There are now many schools of AcroYoga or partner acrobatics. One such school was founded by Jason Nemer & Jenny Sauer-Kline, formally based in San Francisco, California. The word AcroYoga comes from the Greek root word akros meaning high and Sanskrit word yoga meaning union; so together AcroYoga means high union.
This practice immerses three ancient bodywork traditions: –
- yoga asana;
- partner acrobatics & circus skills; and
- massage & metta (loving-kindness) healing.
Unlike other forms of yoga, AcroYoga builds on the potential to connect with others, to build on community and cultivate trust within an environment of safe play.
This practice involves three active roles: –
- the spotter, who serves as an interpreter between the base and flyer and aid the stability and success of a skill or flying sequence;
- the base, who is the pillar for which skills are conducted;
- the flyer, who is either the performer or the receiver of therapeutic flying.
AcroYoga combines both dynamic and therapeutic sequences that range from massage and therapy to performance acrobatics and dance. Practitioners can follow set flows to the point they become familiar with the practice and can then work on improvisation.
AcroYoga actively encourages inversions in particular handstands.
“By inverting the body and using gravity to reverse the normal flow of blood and lymph, the legs and lower body get some fluid drainage, while the glands in the head and upper torso swell with fresh blood. After coming out of an inversion, circulation returns to its normal pattern but with new vitality. All the endocrine glands, which helps to rule the immune system and hormone production, are recharged by inversions.”
Anusara founder John Friend
Encouraging Safe Play
In each AcroYoga workshop or class participants are encouraged to abide by the following ground rules:-
- accurate self-assessment – work within your ability;
- if in doubt use a spotter – for challenging sequences to ensure safety by using a spotter;
- the magic word is DOWN, this can be called by the base, flyer or spotter to abort a skill or sequence if any party is in doubt;
- BREATH, when conducting challenging skills or sequences the tendency is to hold the breath.
If you would like to come along to an AcroYoga class, we recommend that you:-
- Have some bodywork practice, whether it be practising yoga, dance, moving meditation including rock climbing;
- Be prepared to turn your world upside down and be comfortable with inversions (assisted headstand or handstand); and
- Happy to work with a partner or in groups of three or more, there will be no need to bring a partner, we’ll pair you up.