Last updated on September 22nd, 2023.
Yoga has pretty much stayed the same for a thousand years. There are the poses we all know. There’s meditation. Yoga breathing. And all of the other disciplines we think of as the ancient art of yoga.
However, in the 1990’s, two Canadians came up with an exciting new form of yoga. The melded their love of acrobatics, dance and yoga into what they coined Acro Yoga. Those two Canadians, Eugene Poku and Jessie Goldberg, were variety dance performers, and were heavily influenced by both acrobatics and yoga.
So, they were inspired to take their three loves, added the important yogic belief of cultivating knowledge of self, and created acro yoga. And, from that first acro yoga studio in Montreal, a worldwide movement was born. Acro yoga is practiced all over, with the curious coming to the practice more and more.
Poku and Goldberg, say that “there is no separation of acro yoga, yoga and reality.” They encourage people to transform their lives and their selves by living the yogic lifestyle. And, by learning acro yoga, you learn so much about your own self. You learn compassion, for yourself and your partner. And you learn how to deepen your concentration, which leads to a more complete yoga practice.
So, just what is Acro Yoga?
You may have seen high-flying acro yoga classes being taught at your local studio. I’m sure you’ll agree that it looks fun and exciting!
Acro yoga is a great way to make friends as you’re partnering up with at least one other person to lift or be lifted into poses.
And you’ll also learn to put your trust in people, because without trust, acro yoga’s intricate poses could not be done safely and securely.
Acro yoga’s founders describe the practice as “acrobatics with a yogic consciousness. The essence of acro yoga is being in the moment in balance with one another.”
In this article we’ll discuss acro yoga, and decide whether the practice is indeed a form of yoga. Plus, we’ll talk about the benefits of practicing acro yoga.
We’ll give you five great tips to help you learn acro yoga in the comfort of your own home.
Just know that you won’t be an expert at acro yoga right from the get-go. It’s a difficult yoga practice, but oh so worth it. There are courses that can help you learn acro yoga online too! You’ll be amazed at the strength you didn’t even know you had. And your body will be transformed the more you practice.
So, read on for all the ins and outs of acro yoga!
5 Simple Tips to Help You Learn Acro Yoga at Home
If you have a willing partner and the right space, there’s no reason why you can’t learn and practice acro yoga at home.
Before jumping into practicing acro yoga at home, you’ll need to find the right online acro yoga instructional class.
Yogabatics offers a free 10-session acro yoga instructional video series here, to allow you to learn acro yoga in your own time and on your own schedule.
Acroyoga International offers a Foundational Course to introduce you to acro yoga safely.
1) Choose a space secure from children and pets
Before you get started practicing acro yoga, you need to make sure your space has a door or some way to block your children and pets from coming in. Acro yoga can be dangerous. One wrong move and kids and pets could be injured.
2) Clear the space of furniture
Your practice room should be empty of furniture or any items that you could fall on and injure yourself. Instead of floor lamps, you should have ceiling lamps. Move any ottomans, footrests, potted plants, etc., out of the room.
3) Make sure you have a spotter
Using a spotter in acro yoga is not for the studio. You and your partner will need to have someone to help you both in and out of positions and keep you safe when you are practicing at home.
4) Find a partner who has experience practicing acro yoga
If it’s your first time practicing acro yoga, there’s nothing better than partnering up with someone who already knows the ins and outs of acro yoga. They can give you those vital tips that will keep you safe.
5) Don’t push yourself past your limits
You’re just learning and anatomy is so important inn yoga! So, make sure you have the arm strength to lift your partner or the core strength to be lifted safely in a basic pose before you move onto more elaborate moves. It’s easy to injure yourself if you don’t take it slow and if you attempt poses before you are ready.
What is the point of Acro Yoga?
Yoga is about finding your inner zen. Acro yoga allows people to explore yoga wisdom, a healing philosophy and dynamic acrobatics all in one fun and exciting class.
The term “acro yoga” was coined in 1999 at a yoga studio in Montreal, Canada, and the practice has gained popularity worldwide.
Students pair up or practice in groups to support each other physically through challenging poses and movements. Classes may also use spotters to help students who are being physically lifted or otherwise supported.
And really, the point of Acro Yoga is that is will help students become stronger, more flexible and more aware, in a fun and dynamic way.
You’ll definitely meet new people and gain new friends. In fact, you’ll probably become closer to people in your acro yoga class than you would in a regular yoga class because you will be relying on your fellow students to lift you carefully and safely, and your fellow students will be relying on you to do the same.
In a nutshell, acro yoga, more than any other yoga, will help you grow strong relationships and learn how to trust.
Is Acro Yoga Really Yoga?
Acro yoga does different from traditional yoga in that it draws inspiration from cheerleading, the circus and acrobatic dancing. It’s much more physical and, due to practitioners being lifted during the class, there are more chances for injuries than in traditional yoga. And, unlike your typical yoga class, acro yoga also includes elements of Thai massage.
But acro yoga instructors, who, as we mentioned above, are sometimes also health coaches, still pass onto their students the physical, spiritual and mental teachings that we understand as “yoga.”
Acro yoga encourages students to be more mindful of their bodies. They’ll gain a deeper understanding of what they can accomplish and where their limits are.
Students still use their yoga gaze, yoga breath and vinyasa knowledge in moving through an acro yoga class. And, since you need at least one partner to perform the acro yoga moves, you and your partner will learn to remain in the moment.
What are the benefits of Acro Yoga?
There are some important benefits to practicing Acro Yoga. Here are just a few:
- Acro yoga will give you a strong core – Whether you are lifting or balancing, you’ll find that you are always working on your core.
- You’ll be able to work on your fears – With practice, you’ll be the master over a fear of falling.
- You’ll learn to surrender – You’ll find that you will more easily surrender in your mind as you learn to rely on those who are physically supporting you.
- Your ability to concentrate will improve – acro yoga is a difficult practice, and if you don’t concentrate, you’ll liable to injure yourself.
Acro yoga is a fun and exciting past time. You’ll become stronger, especially in the core area. You’ll form deep friendships with your classmates and partners. And you’ll cultivate a deeper trust in humans.
To help you learn more about acro yoga, we recommend looking either online and checking out some fun introductory courses or simply jump into google and find out where there’s an acro yoga studio near you.
Above, we explained the point of acro yoga and confirmed that acro yoga is in fact a form of yoga. We also showed you the benefits of acro yoga and hopefully you’ve been inspired to try it!
Lastly, we gave you 5 simple tips to help you learn acro yoga at home because this really is a fun extension of your yoga practice. If you’re considering taking your practice even further and wanting to become a yoga teacher also from the comfort of your home, checkout our article on the best online yoga teacher training.
Remember, acro yoga is difficult and it’s easy to get injured if you aren’t careful. If you are looking to try a more subtle yoga, and want to teach it there’s also adaptive yoga teacher training online.
If you concentrate on your practice, you will only get better. You’ll eventually be soaring with the rest. So, don’t give up or get discouraged. You’ll be happy to enter the world of yoga and you’ll enjoy all of the positive outcomes that you’ll get from this exciting practice!