Acroyoga, as the name suggests, is related to the ancient practice of Yoga. But there’s more to it. Is it a form of exercise, meditation, or a different activity altogether? Very little is known about this physical practice of well-being. In this article, we talk about the emergence, growth, and the Acroyoga community.
Acroyoga is an amazing confluence of the wisdom in Yoga and the energy and playfulness of acrobatics. However similar they may sound, these are two distinct practices. Yoga is a science that is thousands of years old. It has stood the test of time and managed to spread its wings all over the globe. Whereas Acroyoga is relatively new but is strongly making strides in becoming a part of people’s lives.
People have been practicing acroyoga for quite a few years already. But, the journey in the case of acroyoga is a very personal and introspective one. It is all about an individual. You rise by the power within you. That’s what is different about acro yoga. It is more about togetherness and partner work. It can be said to be “partner yoga”.
Acroyoga has come into form as a result of several years of relentless and significant work of many people. Here is the timeline in years how it emerged among other healing arts.
1938: Among the first records, is a video that depicts yoga teacher T. Krishnamacharya in intense backbend stretches L-basing a child.
1985: Next came the Acrosage. This was a fine art of inversion therapy. This was brought by Benjamin Marantz. This is a dynamic fusion of yoga practice and inverted Thai massage. It brought forth the basic therapeutic flying techniques.
The 1980s: Further progress in this direction was made with ContactYoga. It was founded by Ken Nateshvar Scott. This was a point where the line from individual yoga practice moved to therapeutic partner yoga.
1999: The amazing couple Eugene Poku and Jessi Goldberg who operated a yoga school put together their love for dance and combined yoga, acrobatics and dance together to give a crude form of AcroYoga.
2003: AcroYoga was finally coined and founded by Jason Nemer and Jenny Sauer Klein. They were the ones who primarily coded and forged a path for a structured approach to learning and teaching AcroYoga.
People have been practicing yoga for hundreds if not thousands of years. While with time they do realize that it might have helped them in personal wellness but not much socially. Most people who have been introduced to Acroyoga observe that their social media experienced an explosion of pictures, videos, and a social circle of “acro-friends“.
To quote the founder himself, Nemer said, “I want to live in a world where strangers from different cultures can become friends through the joy of playfulness”. That is the power of AcroYoga. It is like a process of building a community. Today, after the global expansion of the practice, all you need to do is type in Google acro yoga near me and plenty of workshops, festivals and classes will come up.
There is no doubt that yoga has the caliber to transform lives. But, it is more about ‘me and my mat’, that involves a lot of introspection. It might be an argument that Yoga classes beat this problem. No, the issue is persistent even then. Being amidst bodies that are cladded with fashionable Lycras and blue rectangles that are carefully organized, with a silence that can be deafening may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Sometimes it is necessary to balance your body and mind in sync with somebody else’s to achieve a particular level of peace.
Yes, there are three things that constitute AcroYoga. Each has a role that makes you an active participant and endows a sense of responsibility for upliftment together. They are namely:
- The base
This person has maximum contact with the ground and provides complete support to the flyer. The main points of contact with flyers are feet and hands.
- The Flyer
This person is the one who is elevated from the ground and with the support of base practices some dynamic positions. It is an art to defy gravity and yet use it with full skill.
- The Spotter
This person is the observer. Whether the postures are performed correctly or not, the landing of the flyer without injuries is also their responsibility. Their prime focus on the correct form of both the base and flyer and creates a safe to accomplish AcroYoga.
Other than this, there is no restriction of place or time as to how, when, or with whom Acroyoga practice must be carried out. Thus, Acroyoga brings together the stark contrast of free-spiritedness and solemn calmness.
Why does it work?
Once you have had an experience of an Acroyoga class, you’ll be hooked. The feeling of helping someone else along with self is very fulfilling. There is a connection with people you practice, the communication with strangers and yet being incomplete synchronization is exhilarating. It’s like shaking hands, you already have a group of minimum 2-3 people.
You will find yourself become a part of “jams”. Jams are gatherings wherein acro-yogis come together to practice and refine their Acroyoga skills. There are different levels to learn acrobatics yoga. It can be at random places like the beach, a park or even indoors. This is like a breath of fresh air as there you can see participants in freeform observing, practicing, advising and helping each other. It’s just remarkable teamwork.
So, what next after you have learned it? Well, there are festivals being organized all over the world. You can visit different countries and learn more not just acro yoga but also about different cultures and people. If acroyoga was your starting point, you could discover the ancient roots by trying out some classic yoga as well. The best place in the world by far for that is obviously India, where yoga originated from and a must destination regardless. You can experience India in two ways: Immerse yourself completely in its locality and disengage from the world, or stay connected and sharing what you’re going through with your community using Sim Raj for local Indian sim card.
You can be a part of workshops and become a teacher yourself. There’s a new experience every single time. It’s the synergy you feel and the human connects breaking every barrier that we have perceived in our minds.
The building of the network
It is very easy to be a part of the global Acroyoga community. It is very tight and scattered. There is an explosion of activities in many parts of the world. And, you cannot be limited by distance or geography. There are many online ways to join in and learn AcroYoga.