If traditional forms of yoga are too sedate for you, acroyoga may be the perfect way to shake up your exercise routine. This relatively new form of yoga was created in 2006 and combines yoga with acrobatics. Participants work with partners to perform a variety of intricate poses. Although acroyoga does include some aspects of acrobatics, you don't need to be an acrobat or gymnast to enjoy this challenging form of yoga. Some acroyoga classes also include Thai massage, which combines passive yoga stretches and muscle compression with acupressure.
Everyone performs the same movements at the same time in traditional yoga classes, but participants in an acroyoga class have a variety of roles, including:
- Base. The base lies on the ground and supports the flyer with his or her hands and feet. He or she must concentrate on keeping his or her back firmly against the ground to provide maximum stability for the flyer.
- Flyer. Although acroyoga and cheerleading both use flyers, flying in acroyoga is much different than in cheerleading. Flyers are not tossed into the air, but perform various poses while supported by the base. Flyers must have excellent balance and the ability to move easily from one pose to another while being supported by the base.
- Spotter. The spotter monitors the acroyoga team and steps in to provide support when necessary. He or she also offers suggestions for improving form.
Preparing for Acroyoga
Because acroyoga is a more demanding form of yoga, additional preparation is needed. Conditioning drills and strength training will help you ensure that you can endure a full acroyoga session, particularly if you are the base. Push-ups and weightlifting are good choices that will help you build and strengthen your muscles and bones. Stretching exercises are performed before each session to help improve flexibility.
Benefits of Acroyoga
Acroyoga offers all of the benefits of traditional yoga, such as lower blood pressure, reduced stress and better immune system function, but also provides some unique benefits. Supporting their partners for an hour at a time helps bases build strong arm and leg muscles. Flying is an excellent way to reduce tension in the back. In fact, people who have back pain may notice an improvement after an acroyoga session.
An important part of acroyoga is the focus on developing a trusting, open and supportive relationship with a partner. Participants must verbally and non-verbally communicate what they need to successfully perform poses with their partners. They must truly listen to what their partners tell them and make changes to ensure that the poses are performed perfectly and no one is injured. Some couples find that practicing acroyoga is an excellent way to improve communication in their relationships and build trust.
Do you think acroyoga sounds like a great way to stay in shape and challenge yourself physically and mentally? Call us today and find out when our next series of classes begins.