Acro Yoga - Acrobatic Concepts on Yoga
Acrobatics is the art of performing with balance, flexibility, agility and coordination. The art of acrobatics has been associated with athletic elements such as gymnastics, ballet and recently, yoga. Otherwise known as Acro-Yoga, this combines the practice of acrobatics and yoga to exercise a different form of activity that is not only athletic, but also artistic.
The concept was first practiced in 2004 by Jason Nemer and Jenny Sauer-Klein who decided to start combining their acrobatic moves with meditative yoga. By meeting Carolyn Cohen who practices Thai massage, Acro-Yoga was conceptualized. Before then, a lot of variations might have already been made, but it was this group who officially started a practice to introduce Acro-Yoga.
Benefits of Yoga and Acrobatics In One
Yoga, in itself is already quite beneficial, mentally, physically and spiritually for those practicing. With acrobatics that involve a lot of discipline and concentration above all its athleticism, the personality is molded by the practice of Acro-Yoga.
Combined, the teamwork and unity of acrobatics help to improve one's personality by helping them co-exist in the same yoga exercise that will require them to trust one another. Thai massage is helpful in opening up the body to one another in terms of confidence and kindness, beneficial in connecting yoga with acrobatics.
Basics of Acro-Yoga
In the basic exercise of Acro-Yoga, there are three functions - the base, the flyer and the spotter. The base is the person who is usually positioned with their backs on the ground. Exercises train their arms and legs to be stronger to allow the stability of their support for the flyer.
The base makes contact with the flyer through the hands and feet. The function of a base is to be the foundation, making it essential for the limbs to be strong and stable.
The function of a flyer is to be lifted by the person who functions as the base. As a flyer, they must be able to move into various positions, making balance as well as core strength an important aspect in their physiological being. The flyer must be confident enough to move above ground and trust the base.
The spotter, on the other hand, plays the safety net of the flyer and the base. They must make sure that the flyer lands safely after a position. The spotter can also serve as a guide, making recommendations for the partners in improving their movements.
Practice of Acro-Yoga
Many practices of Acro-Yoga begin with the circle ceremony. In this position, the group is gathered in one circle where the rest of the positions are done while adjoined together. This shape represents unity and the desire to co-exist together in harmony. The goal is to move as one, breathe as one and sound as one, uniting everyone included in the circle.
In asana, the group prepares for a harmonious interaction in the physical and energetic aspect. One style of asana, the Acrobatic asana helps to improve strength, coordination and flexibility, while the other, the Thai Yoga Asana helps in increasing the sensitivity of a person through self-massage. It also helps in shifting the bones to equalize the weight of the body.
In partner flow, a partnership is formed between two persons while they execute a sequence of positions that aim to benefit both. The asanas and stretches help to practice receptivity, self-acceptance and communication. Partner flow also helps the participants to feel compassion for the other.