The first time I tried acroyoga was about one year ago. One day I was looking for some activities to do in the weekend and I found an event in Facebook for an acroyoga workshop. I’d already been practicing yoga for a while but I had never heard about acroyoga before. I tried to search for some information about it online and I found some videos. Honestly what I saw was a bit scary and I didn’t know I had enough courage to try it. Despite all my fears, I decided to go to the event. I fell in love at first try with this sport so I kept doing it. Today I want to share some benefits acroyoga had in my life.
But first of all… what is acroyoga?
Acroyoga (also called partner yoga) is a mix of three traditions: yoga, acrobatics, and Thai massage. There are two types of practices: solar and lunar. Solar is more dynamic and acrobatic while lunar is softer and more therapeutic. In other words, solar is when you do amazing tricks and lunar is more like a healing practice. To practice acroyoga you need at least two people: a base and a flyer. The base is the person on the bottom who creates the foundation. The flyer is the person elevated by the base.
So that’s it in theory. Not that complicated, right? Now let’s see some reasons why you should also try this amazing sport:
It strengthens the body
If you look at people doing acroyoga you might say ’Oh that’s easy, anyone could do it.’ However, the truth is that in order to keep the positions, you need a lot of core strength. Acroyoga utilizes your whole body in varying planes of motions. To keep the different postures you need to continuously engage your muscles.
At the beginning, I just couldn’t hold some poses because of the lack of strength. But as I became more advanced, my core muscles got stronger too.
It improves your concentration
I think acroyoga can really help to improve your concentration, stay in the present moment and make quick decisions. In order to prevent falls and injuries, you must consciously maintain presence without distraction. It is like a form of meditation: you can’t think about other things while doing acroyoga, all your attention has to be focused on the practice. This sport also compels you to make quick decisions to keep yourself and your partner safe while exploring new postures and flows together.
After a while I also started to see some benefits in my everyday life. I noticed that concentrating on other things when I need to became a lot easier. I am also more able to make quick decisions while maintaining serenity and not losing my cool. Moreover I started to become more present and to worry less about the past and future.
It helps build relationships
For a successful acroyoga session you need to have a good connection and cooperation with your yoga partner. It is indispensable to rely on each other and to be able to communicate without words. During an acroyoga practice you and your yoga partner do all the movements together so you don’t shoulder all of the responsibility. It means you need to trust your yoga partner, so acroyoga also brings you to surrender.
I think the cooperation is a hard part of acroyoga. When I first start to practice with someone, there are always some misunderstandings and funny moments. But as we exercise more together we learn how to communicate without words and become great yoga partners. Thanks to acroyoga I also noticed some positive changes in my personal relationships. This sport has taught me to become more aware of other people’s emotions. Now I tend to understand better the way people behave and how they communicate. I also noticed that now I feel more empathy for others and I have less difficulties trusting other people. You can see how this practice helps foster healthy relationships, especially now in the age of social distancing. Just make sure to practice safely with someone you are already in close contact with (such as your live-in partner).
It creates community
For me it’s like a family that has members all over the world. Often when I travel somewhere I try to find people to practice acroyoga with. I always had great practices and sessions everywhere and thanks to acroyoga I made some amazing friends. Sometimes I feel that with these people we understand each other without words not only during the practice but after too. There are also some acroyoga teachers traveling through different countries and providing free classes in exchange for accommodation.
So what do you think? Will you try acroyoga?
Also by Adrienn: Life Lessons I Learned From Losing My Job
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Photo: Adrienn Gyetko