Easy Acro yoga poses that’ll elevate your practice
So, you’ve heard about Acro yoga?
The latest yoga craze has hit the studios in a big way, with every practitioner and their instructor jumping to give the acrobatic-infused style a try, and we’re all for it!
Blending acrobatic moves with gentle yoga asanas and therapeutic healing arts, Acro yoga is worth every bit of the hype—if not more.
And the best part is, anyone can do Acro yoga.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a complete novice or know-it-all with experience in every style under the sun, we’ll be sharing a few freeing Acro yoga poses any yogi can master, acrobat or not.
So, gather your best yogi bud or even a complete stranger off the street, and elevate your practice with these easy Acro yoga poses.
Is Acro yoga suitable for beginners?
We know what you’re thinking, “Me? A master of acrobatic yoga? There’s no way!”
Well, believe it or not, but you can conquer gravity-defying yoga poses. All you need is a reliable partner and a pinch of confidence, and you’re all set!
Although the hybrid style requires more balance, strength and flexibility than say, Hatha yoga, with the support of your partner, you’ll find that seemingly impossible poses are in fact super simple.
This means that trust is one of the most essential aspects of Acro yoga, and you don’t have to be a decorated practitioner to have it.
Before you can start soaring, you’ll first need to decide who is actually doing the flying, and who is the base.
Unlike traditional yoga practice, there are two different positions in Acro yoga.
- The flyer: Typically, the flyer is the practitioner that has better body balance and flexibility. This is because the flyer has to perform Acro yoga poses while balancing atop the base’s feet.
- The base: Bases need to be strong and sturdy, with a powerful core. The base’s job is to support the flyer as they twist and turn, and catch them on dismounts.
Some Acro yoga poses can also be practised with a third person, but most require two people.
Whether you’re the one doing the spinning or supporting your partner from below, you’ll learn how to communicate, trust and uplift one another every step of the way.
Why try Acro yoga poses?
So, why give Acro yoga a go?
Well for one, Acro yoga will help you step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself in new and exciting ways.
You’ll master advanced poses with the support and guidance of your partner, and bolster your individual skills as a practitioner.
Much like partner yoga, an Acro yoga class will give you the opportunity to forge new friendships and work muscles you didn’t even know you had.
Plus, it’s the best way to spice up your routine if your daily yoga practice is feeling a bit stale and stiff.
Here are a few other ways Acro yoga can level up your life.
Regardless if you’re the flyer or the base, Acro yoga poses are an excellent way to improve your balance.
As the flyer, you’ll trade in the flat and stationary mat for a wobbly human body, requiring a great deal of balance and core strength.
And it’s no easier for the base.
Together, you’ll flow through challenging poses that demand a steady posture and fluid movements.
At first, it might be tricky. But after some time, you’ll notice an improvement in your solo and acro yoga practice.
Builds core strength
Although Acro has proven to bolster your balance, that’s not all it does.
Acro yoga poses are also the ultimate ab workout.
In order to pull off these acrobatic manoeuvres, both the base and the flyer have to keep their core engaged and sturdy throughout.
Think of it as the equivalent of holding the plank pose for an entire session
With a stronger core, you’ll be able to perform more challenging poses in your solo practice and even eradicate upper and lower back pain.
Bolsters bonds, trust and communication
Sure, balance and sexy abs are a plus. But what makes Acro yoga truly special is the unbreakable bonds and friendships you form with others.
The Acro yoga community is a warm and welcoming one, with yogis from all walks of life coming together to share in their love for yoga.
Alongside your closest friends, family, or even complete strangers, you’ll learn how to communicate and work together as a unit.
And if you fall or pull that ridiculous concentration face, your partners will be there to pick you up and laugh with you.
Easy Acro yoga poses for beginners
If you’re eager to give this acrobatic-infused yoga style a go, there are several beginner-friendly poses you can try at home.
These poses are fairly straightforward, but it’s always best to practise in a safe and supportive environment with a spotter nearby, in case you lose your balance and need a hand.
Many first-timers attend beginner Acro yoga retreats before attempting poses alone, so if you’re not comfortable, it might be best to join a retreat or Acro yoga class with a trained instructor first.
But, if you’re ready to jump straight into this thrilling and deeply therapeutic practice, then these poses couldn’t be more perfect.
Fish on a Rock
Fish on a rock is a great first pose to try with your partner. It’ll help you synchronise your movements and improve your overall body awareness as a duo.
This pose is also a fantastic back, chest and hip opener, releasing pent-up tension between the shoulder blades.
- Both the flyer and the base start kneeling on the yoga mat back-to-back.
- Moving as a unit, the base will inch their torso forward into child’s pose
- The flyer leans against the base’s back, extending their legs straight out in front of them.
- The flyer’s shoulders should be in line with the base’s shoulder blades at this point. The flyer relaxes into the position, opening their chest and allowing their arms to hang loose beside them.
- With the flyer’s weight resting on the base’s back, the base will feel a deep stretch throughout the entire body.
- Hold for a few minutes before alternating positions.
Downward Facing Dog L Shape
Downward-facing dog Acro-style requires some balance and a tonne of trust and communication.
The flyer will balance on the base’s lower back in a modified handstand while the base pushes deeper into a traditional downward-facing dog pose.
There are a few downward-facing dog variations in Acro, but the L shape group pose is best for beginners.
- For this yoga pose, the base will position themselves at the front of the yoga mat in downward facing dog.
- The flyer will then stand with feet on opposite sides of the base’s arms and fold forward, placing their hands on the mat in front of them.
- When the base is steady, the flyer will bring the left foot up to rest on the base’s lower back, and then the right, balancing in a half handstand.
- Once comfortable, apply a bit more pressure to your partner’s back, helping them push deeper into the stretch.
High-Flying Whale Pose
High Flying Whale Pose is a bit more advanced, but a lot of fun—how can it not be with a name like high-flying whale pose?
This two-person backbend offers the flyer a great stretch in the back and shoulders, while stretching the base’s hamstrings.
Take this pose one step at a time and remember to communicate with your partner throughout.
If you’re feeling unsteady, return to the mat and try again.
- Start off with the base lying flat on their back and the flyer standing above the base’s head, feet in line with the base’s shoulders.
- The base holds onto the flyer’s ankles for support and lifts their feet to meet the flyer’s shoulder blades.
- The base can use a yoga pillow or even a folded blanket to extend their legs higher if they are struggling to reach their partner’s back.
- When both practitioners are ready, the flyer leans back onto the base’s ankles and the base straightens their legs to the ceiling.
- While holding the flyer’s ankles, the base can lengthen their arms, distributing the flyer’s weight evenly.
- The base’s core needs to be fully engaged at this point, allowing the flyer to safely relax into the pose and stretch out their arms.
Front Bird Pose
The front bird pose is very similar to a plank pose, and is a foundational position in Acro yoga.
Unlike the high-flying whale pose or throne pose, both yogis will have a steady base to work from, allowing them to get a feel for basic transitions while still maintaining their balance and control.
- The flyer stands facing the base who is lying with their back on the mat and legs straight out in the air.
- The base’s legs lower to meet the flyer’s hips, and both practitioners clasp hands. Again, if the base’s hamstrings are too tight, they can place a pillow or blanket under their hips to boost them up.
- Once in a secure and sturdy position, the flyer will lean forward as the base lifts the flyer up off the ground.
- Both the base and flyer straighten their arms and engage their core, forming a solid position.
Folded Leaf Pose
If you’ve conquered the front bird pose fairly easily, then this next pose will be a piece of cake.
The folded leaf pose is a therapeutic flying pose that nourishes the lower back and leaves practitioners feeling lighter and more connected to their partner and practice.
- Yogis will start out in the same position as front bird pose. But in this pose, the base’s feet are turned out in a V-shape, allowing the flyer’s upper body to fold easily, like a leaf!
- Once in the front bird pose, the base can gradually loosen their grip, allowing the flyer to relax their body weight and hang with the support of the base’s feet.
- The flyer can rest their hands on the base’s arms for additional support or to regain their balance.
Whether you love to practise yoga with others, or are looking for a way to step up your skills on the mat, Acro yoga is a wonderfully therapeutic and intimate practice that every yogi should try at least once.
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