ACRO YOGA Training for two

Acro Yoga is performed in pairs. One partner literally takes off during the combination of yoga and acrobatics! Learn all about the yoga style here.
What is Acro Yoga?
Acro Yoga is primarily a combination of yoga exercises, acrobatics, and breathing techniques performed in pairs. One partner lifts the other up and makes him fly in different positions. Therefore Acro Yoga requires a certain trust in the partner - and helps to strengthen it.

Acro Yoga was developed in 2003 in the USA by Jenny Sauer-Klein and Jason Nemer. Since Acro Yoga (also: Acroyoga) is a trademarked term and may only be used if the leader of the course is officially certified, many studios use other names for the yoga style. In this case, it is worthwhile to ask the course leader to explain exactly what is behind the respective course. If it is about partner exercises, Acro Yoga is probably meant.

The roles in Acro Yoga
Although the exercises in Acro Yoga are strictly speaking only performed by two people, there are three roles in total:

Base (Basis): this is the partner on the ground lifting the other into the air.
Flyer: This is the person who is lifted into the air.
Spotter (Observer): A third person observes the exercises, gives assistance, and relieves the Base in case of doubt.
The spotter is not absolutely necessary, but especially beginners should be able to rely on assistance. In general, the roles of base and flyer should be swapped. In a team of man and woman, however, this happens rather rarely, since the man, as a rule, is the stronger part, who can keep his partner long and stable in the air.

Elements in Acro Yoga
Just as there are generally three roles in Acro Yoga, there are also three essential elements that are combined in the yoga style:

Yoga: Primarily the aspects of mindfulness and breathing techniques define the element of yoga in Acro Yoga.
Solar acrobatics: These are the acrobatic aspects of Acro Yoga, which focus on strength, confidence in oneself and one's partner, and the fun of the exercises.
Lunar acrobatics: In fact, flying can also have therapeutic aspects. This is because the flyer learns to let go and simply relax.
The exercises differ depending on whether you want to do more acrobatic flying or therapeutic flying. In acrobatic flying, the focus is on actually doing acrobatic or yogic figures as well. Classic exercises for this are Star, Throne, Bird, or Wipes.

In therapeutic flying, it is more important that the flyer can let go and relax. For example, the flyer lets his arms and legs hang down, while the base not only holds him up but also pampers him with small massaging touches of the hands.

How the Acro Yoga session begins
Especially because in Acro Yoga you take responsibility not only for yourself but also for your partner, the so-called fly-in is important. Both partners get a feeling for each other and are additionally warmed up. For example, the base gets a feeling for the weight and body tension of the flyer, while the flyer himself can test the strength of his partner.

In the beginning, the Base lies straight on his back and stretches his legs up at a 90-degree angle. The flyer stands directly in front of the base, then the base slightly bends the legs and puts the feet against the flyer's hip bones. Depending on how experienced the Base is, he or she may lift the Flyer up with some momentum or slowly and carefully. Beginners still take the hands to help during the flyer as a precaution until both have found their balance. Only when both partners feel safe, the hands are released and the Base can start to change the position by moving the feet slightly.

Exercises for advanced students
Advanced Acro Yoga students can try the following exercises:

Hand-to-Hand: The flyer does a handstand on the base's hands. This requires a very good balance of both partners. Important: The wrists should be warmed up very well for this exercise to avoid injury.
Foot-to-Foot: Like Hand-to-Hand, but with the feet: The flyer stands upright with his feet on the Base's feet. 
Foot-to-Hand: Here the flyer stands upright with his feet in the Base's hands. This exercise also requires a good sense of balance.
Pops: This is where it gets really acrobatic! The Base throws the Flyer for the Pops with small impulses into its final position, instead of lifting it slowly.
Whips: Whips are even a step harder than the Pops. Here, the flyer whips out of the Bird through the Base's legs at high speed, for example, and ends up back in the Bird. This exercise is already a royal class - only experienced Acro-Yogis with a lot of feeling for balance should do it!
Tip: After Acro Yoga is before relaxation for the body. The base has now earned a pleasant Thai massage, for example!


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