The practice can be broken down into two segments – the acrobatic and the therapeutic (a combination of yoga and Thai massage) for physical and mental benefits. As with all yoga you can start at a basic level and work your way up as you feel comfortable, however, the acrobatic poses, often referred to as ‘flying’, come in at an intermediate level when there’s an understanding of the basics and in particular, safety. Together you will work as the flyer and the base – both of which have mental and physical benefits and enhance different capabilities.
One of the defining features of acroyoga is that you often work with a spotter because of the dynamic nature of the poses, and it’s particularly popular with those who want to take their yoga practice to a new level. Encompassing a joyful sense of fun within the exercise, it’s benefits include strength training as well as concentration, stress release, balance and encourages you to find your core.
“I knew very early on that I’d found something that could really change the way I lived my life”
Another rather beautiful benefit of the practice is the way it helps to build relationships and heal conflict. There’s a high level of trust involved in the shared poses and the result is a sense of intuitive communication, respect for one another’s boundaries and a sense of partnership. An intense experience, the poses encourage you to confront fears, most pragmatically that of falling – a bit like those trust exercises you were encouraged to practice as a child.
At Akasha Wellness Retreat, Matt Goode writes: “when I was first introduced to the practice I was super uncomfortable. The idea of looking someone in the eyes, breathing with them, holding hands, learning to move with them in unison, it was all completely unnatural to an Englishman who grew up shying away from both physical touch and his emotional feelings… But I knew very early on that I’d found something that could really change the way I lived my life – it’s easy to say in Yoga classes that we’re all connected, all looking to pull in the same direction, working to interact with compassion, happiness and joy – but AcroYoga actually forced me to put some of this talking into physical practice.”
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