Do you, like me, feel that familiar pang of jealousy when you come across images of incredible Acro yoga poses against inspiring sunsets, or urban graffiti covered garage doors? Do you want to plaster your Instagram with perfectly filtered photos of harmonious contortion with your best friend/significant other/kids, but don’t quite have the experience or confidence to dive right in?
Well I sure did, and finally decided to do something about it. So with a 50:50 mix of undeserved confidence and slightly wavering bravery – and with an equally open-minded gal pal, we decided to find the easiest yet still physically rewarding Acro yoga poses for the acro-beginner. Some were complete disasters, some were challenging-but-near-successes and a few were even easy – but we eventually settled on the following 8 poses that even the most inexperienced yogi should give a go – if anything it is simply a fun afternoon with friends!
Not only does Acro yoga look amazing, it also has endless benefits for your body. As well as having all the benefits of ‘regular’ yoga, it also develops core strength like you wouldn’t believe! You gain an extra level of control and confidence with your body as well as a heightened sense of balance and awareness. It is fantastic for relationships too, as the level of trust and dependence required is so intense.
8 Beginner Acro yoga Poses
First of all, back to basics. There are 3 positions:
Acro yoga is not all about doing acrobatics. It is a combination of acrobatics and yoga. There are poses, which should be done before doing the acrobatic poses to connect with your partner as well as to give yourself a nice warm-up. You should begin your session with this partner breathing pose.
Sit in Sukhasana with your back connected and faces in the opposite direction.
Now take deep breaths and regulate your breath according to your partner. It is like you are breathing as one person.
It is another warm-up pose to loosen up your muscles. The partner version increases the stretch to a greater degree.
Sit in Sukhasana with your backs connected.
Lift your arms to your sides and join your palms with each other.
Now join your arms together and make a straight line.
Rotating your joined arms first move to left side twisting your torso and then to the right side.
Do it 3-5 times on each side.
Hold each for 10 seconds.
Downward Dog is one of the most popular yoga poses, so how can there be not an Acro Yoga version? Double Down Dog is a fun pose, which is relatively easy. The reason is that the weight is more evenly distributed while doing this pose as the flier supports his front herself. You can do this pose in a series, if there are more than two people. Nevertheless, this pose usually ends in giggles.
For doing a Double Down Dog pose, both the partners should come in the downward dog position.
The base should take his position exactly behind the flier with his hands near the flier’s feet.
Now the flier should slowly walk back while maintaining her Down Dog.
Continue walking back up the base’s back until your feet are planted on his lower back.
Double Boat Pose is the partner version of the traditional Boat Pose. In this pose, both the base and flier are seated on the ground. This also can be done by beginners, though the yogis should be flexible. This partner acro yoga version is easier than the single boat pose as your partner’s support makes the hold easier. But, at the same time this version increases the stretch. It is good for core strength.
Sit facing each other with your knees folded in front of you.
Extend your arms toward each other and hold your wrists firmly.
Now raise your calves until they become perpendicular to the sky and parallel to the floor.
Join your soles with your partner’s.
Now press on each other’s soles and straighten your legs.
This pose is a combination of Camel Pose and the Plow Pose. The base takes the Plow Pose and the flier gets into the supported Camel Pose. If it is possible, the base and flier should also do the pose with reversed positions to get the benefits of both the basic poses.
The base should lie on his back on the ground.
Now lift your legs and take them back touching the ground before your head in the Plow Pose.
Now the flier should sit on her knees facing away from the base with her feet hugging the base’s flank.
Now bend back into the Camel Pose, and reaching back grab the base’s feet.
This is one of the first few Acro Yoga poses that your yoga trainer would teach you. This pose is intermediary and also allows the base to give the flier some Thai massage.
Base – lie on your back and lift your feet straight in the air.
Flier – stand close to the base’s lifted feet touching them. Bend forward until the base’s feet get placed firmly at your hips. Reach with your arms to hold the base’s wrists.
Base – make sure you place your feet firmly at the flier’s hips and reach forward to hold his wrists with your hands. Now, straighten your legs lifting the flier’s lower body off the ground until your legs are perpendicular to the ground.
Flier – lift your legs. Open and straighten them such that your lower body becomes perpendicular to your torso.
This pose comes after the folded leaf pose. It involves the actual high flying by the flier as the flier is supported solely by the base without any point of contact with the floor.
Base – lie on the ground with your back firmly supported by it and your knees bent.
Flier – stand before the base near his feet.
Base – lift your feet and place them at her hips. Make sure your feet are firmly planted there and supported by her hips. Now hold the flier’s arms at her elbows and straighten your legs high in the air lifting the flier with the motion.
Flier- Balance yourself and lock your body in a straight line with your toes pointed out. When you are sure of your balance, then leave the base’s arms and raise yours in the flying motion.
This pose is a transition from the Back Bird Pose. It comes under intermediate to advanced poses. A little more challenging than the other but it also means more trust, compatibility, strength and flexibility.
Base should lie down on his back on the ground with his knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
Flier is to stand facing away from the base near his feet.
Now the base places his feet firmly at the flier’s lower back with his heels resting on her butt.
Flier bends backwards reaching with her arms.
Both should grab and hold each other’s elbows firmly.
Base lifts his legs straight into the air, lifting the flier off the ground at the same time.
You have reached the Back Bird pose.
Now the flier should bend her knees and grab her ankles with her hands in the Bow Pose.
These poses are relatively simple and effective way to get acquainted with Acro Yoga. It is so romantic when done with your beloved and really fun when done with friends or other dear ones. The best part about this form of yoga is that it always brings love and laughter, even when you are not able to do the poses. Contrary to pop belief, Acro Yoga can be done by anybody with practice. And in the end people always get hooked to it! You will too!