What is Acro Yoga

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Spelled as acro yoga, acroyoga and acro-yoga, it is a combination of acrobatics and yoga. Both yoga and acrobatics are the foundation of this form of exercise. While the term may sound to be a twenty-first century coinage, the concept and practice is quite old. You can trace the history of acro yoga at least a hundred years back when Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya made it popular. However, acro yoga dates back thousands of years when some poses of yoga were actually very similar to modern exercises practiced by those training in acrobatics.

Sneak Peek into Acro Yoga

Acro yoga has become popular for obvious reason. In addition to calming the senses and having meditative effects, the various postures enhance strength, balance and endurance. Acro yoga has therapeutic benefits as well. Many practitioners combine acro yoga with different forms of massages and dance. It must be noted here that acro yoga is much more challenging than usual yoga or conventional acrobatics. Hence, it is not for beginners.

The three key elements of acro yoga are base, flyer and spotter. These are also called roles. Base is an individual who is firmly laid or positioned on the ground. The individual is the foundation for the flyer who would try the acrobatic form or posture. Flyer is the individual with little or no contact with the ground but uses the foundation or the base to attain the posture. The spotter is an individual who doesn’t partake in the posture attained by the base and flyer but keeps an astute watch if the form attained is perfect.

The individual forming the base has to be reliable, strong and well trained in yoga. The flyer needs to be agile, confident and should have perfected core strength. Balance is the key in acro yoga along with strength and impeccably controlled breathing. The spotter cannot be a layperson without any knowledge of acro yoga, acrobatics or yoga. The spotter must be able to identify weaknesses in the form, essentially anomalies. Poor postures can lead to injuries.

There are various acro yoga poses. A basic pose is the front bird. Whale is a more advanced pose, so are hangle dangle, back bird variation, three person balancing pose, star side view, floating paschi and throne pose. In the throne pose, the base individual is usually smaller compared to the flyer. Acro yoga is relatively new. Practitioners experiment with a plethora of poses and many people opt for personalized poses.

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