Acroyoga (not Aggro-Yoga :D) is short for 'acrobatic Yoga' and is a movement type that is done in pairs or in a group. With one person staying connected to the ground - the 'base' and one person being lifted up in the air - the 'flyer'.
There is 'L-basing' which refers to shapes where the base is laying flat on the back on the floor, putting the legs up in a 90 degree angle (and thus creating an L shape), and balances the flyer on top of that. Here are the most basic poses:
And there is 'standing acrobatics', where the base is standing on the feet. It is usually seen as a bit more advanced but to be fair, there is a lot of complicated coordination challenges in L-basing. This position is called 'High Bird':
Within L-basing there are three different sections. There are 'flows' or 'washing machines' that start in one specific position and somehow end up there again. They can be done in a loop, endless, forever. Here is a video about a flow called 'Ninja Star'. Video by our friends Sara and Yannik from 'Feel the Flow' in Hamburg. The have Youtube videos and also full online tutorials available!
Then there is 'Icarians' or (full-release) 'Pops'. Yes, bit of a funny terminology but we are very professional when we hear phrases like 'you just have to pop me a bit harder'. They describe transitions where the flyer is shortly thrown in the air and caught again in the same, or a different pose. Here is a Youtube video with Sara & Yannik:
The last section is 'Whips'. Also a bit funny, right? Well ,then let me then tell you about 'Whipops' as well. Whips are dynamic sweeping movements and if you combine it with a Pop, it ends up being a Whipop. Tada! Curious how it looks? Check out another video by Sara and Yannik:
So now that you have a better idea about what we do in Acroyoga, would you say it is connected to Yoga?
Some people see a direct connection, others not at all. That also depends on your background. Quite a lot of Acroyogis are not actually Yogis but from my experience, the vibe is somewhat similar as trust, connection and mindfulness plays a major role in Acroyoga.
The big difference is the playfulness and social intelligence factor, that the conventional Yoga doesn't require as much. Also, if you look at the practice itself, Acroyoga is very different than your solo-time on the mat.
Fact is, you don't need to be a Yogi to enjoy and start with Acroyoga!
Below find a video of Marie and Mia that is part of a whole series. Together they are 'Movement Link' on Youtube. Learn all basic positions and flows, safe to practice at home. They also have a section where they focus on kid-friendly Acroyoga. Isn't their entrance quite brilliant in this video?
To finish this blogpost we want to share this quote by Maya Angelou with you. It fits quite nicely to the Acroyoga practice and how to approach it.
My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.'
Our motto in Acroyoga is: Always be playful, laugh about yourself and if you fail, do it with confidence.
More Acroyoga input will follow!
Sara & Irina