THE BLOG

AcroYoga, Why You Should Give it a Whirl

06/21/2015 06:36 pm ET | Updated Jun 21, 2016

Although a 'high flying whale' may sound like something right out of the supernatural, when performed in AcroYoga, it's a rather elegant looking pose. The partner-based practice incorporates elements of acrobatics, yoga, and Thai massage, and has become increasingly popular among yoga and non-yoga practitioners alike. And while many of the high-flying postures appear complex and intimidating, a good deal of AcroYoga is quite accessible with some basic guidance and practice. Still not convinced? Here are a few more reasons to give AcroYoga a try:

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1. Builds Trust & Focus
AcroYoga poses include a 'base', the partner who is actively supporting, and a 'flyer', the partner who is elevated and balancing on the base's legs or arms. In order to create a safe balance in each pose, both partners need to verbalize their actions and have complete reliance on one another. Working together this way fosters focus, communication, and a deep sense of trust.

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2. Improves Strength, Balance, & Flexibility
The role of the base is to provide a stable foundation for the flyer. This means keeping the limbs steady and supportive, an act that strengthens the limbs and core. The flyer, on the other hand, moves progressively through a variety of poses and stretches while being elevated, an accomplishment that encourages balance and flexibility. Because it's common to interchange positions in AcroYoga, each partner has the chance to build strength, improve balance, and increase flexibility.

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3. Creates Confidence & Courage
The practice doesn't just benefit the body. Whether you're flying or basing, chances are you're pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Intimacy, responsibility, and confidence all play a role in AcroYoga. Learning to overcome limitations and fears with your partner teaches you to do the same with yourself.

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* Photos above taken by John F. Cooper with acro-yogis Koya Webb and Riva G Yoga