Acroyoga, also called yoga for couples, is a form of physical activity, which has recently enjoyed great popularity. What is it about and what are its main advantages?
Acroyoga is a unique practice which combines the following elements: asanas (yoga positions), contact with a partner (exercises of this type are performed in pairs) and acrobatics (acroyoga classes are based on performing exercises in the air).
In acroyoga, he distinguishes three basic roles that the practitioner can play. One of them is the base, which is the foundation of the asanas. While practicing, he or she remains in a supine position, on the back. The second role is the fly, which is lifted by the person acting as the base. In a significant number of cases, he is in an inverted position with his head down. His task is to tense and relax the various muscles in such a way as to maintain balance.
The third role is that of the belayer, who helps to adopt a safe, comfortable and stable position for the base and the flyer. Additionally, he or she assists in exiting the asanas.
To train acroyoga, it is best to have a stretched body and be limber, although this is not a rule. Exercises of this type can also be successfully performed by slightly less fit people, who start classes from slightly easier positions. To play the role of a base, contrary to appearances, you do not need to have great physical strength. The key role here is played by stretching the muscles of the person lifting and the person being lifted. There is also a misconception that the role of the flyer can perform only small people.
How does the first acroyoga class look like? Participants can then learn how to fly in basic positions, how to build confidence with a partner, how to safely belay and be belayed, and how to relax in the air with therapeutic positions.
What can be an obstacle in practicing acroyoga? Worth mentioning here are high body weight and joint problems, among others. Despite the fact that the lifts are based largely on muscle tension, they are quite a burden on the knees and wrists. Regular training as a base can cause injury. Overweight, on the other hand, can make it impossible to stay in the flying position. Here, however, a great deal depends on the fitness of the lifter.
The first element of acroyoga is the Sunshine Practice based on yoga and acrobatic positions. It is performed in groups of three participants: base, flyer and helper. This practice builds a sense of community, which is related to the fact that safety here depends on all participants.
The second element of acroyoga is the Lunar Practice. This is a very gentle practice in the form of therapeutic flying. It is done in pairs. One participant acts as the base while the other focuses on stretching their body in a hanging or lying position.
The third of the acroyoga elements is the Yoga Practice. This includes exercises to master the ability to calm and focus. It includes mantras and breathing exercises, among others.
Featured photo: Adriana Serra / Flickr