In our recent article, we presented an introduction to acroyoga, emphasizing its awesome benefits. Here we begin the practical side of learning acroyoga, by demonstrating the easiest acroyoga poses for beginners that are the most accessible. Besides our own videos, we also include links to some of the best acroyoga training available on the Internet, when relevant.
The videos are organized in progressive order of difficulty. It is very important that both partners have warmed up and stretched beforehand to avoid injuries.
A1- Jedi Box
Here, the base lies on the ground with arms vertically raised. The flyer takes a plank position with hands on the base’s ankles, and feet into the base’s hands. To form the Jedi box, both bend using their abdominals, in a synchronized manner, and hold. They return to the starting position.
Watch out to move in synchrony, otherwise one person will feel the strain of trying to bend the other person into the Jedi box frame. Other than that, this is a very safe pose, since it is low to the ground. For more details on doing the Jedi box, and also the Jedi crawl, check out Super Dave here (Note: By clicking such external links, you’ll be taken to YouTube, and to return to read this article, you will need to find your browser again!)
The base lies on the ground with legs bent over the torso. The flyer steps on the hamstrings, and looks to find balance.
This pose is also quite safe, since the flyer can easily hop off. Be careful that the flyer’s weight is not too much for the base’s back, e.g. with the flyer putting only some of the weight initially. It takes a high ceiling to do the volcano pose, i.e. mountain pose with arms extended above!
Very similar to feet-to-hamstrings, but requires more concentration to achieve steady balance. Check out Super Dave’s video on feet-to-shins variations. It is not difficult, we were able to do all of it on our first attempt!
A4- Hand-Assisted Bird (Front Plank)
The next 4 videos show different aspects of the quintessential acroyoga pose: Bird.
The main danger with Bird is for the flyer to fall face down. This has never happened to us. We can imagine this could be a pretty bad fall, hence it is worth having several mechanisms to ensure it doesn’t happen, mentioned later as we go along.
The first video introduces a very safe way of getting into bird, by holding hands. This strongly prevents the flyer from falling face down. Once you feel confident, you can begin releasing the hands. Then it’s the base’s toes that ensure the flyer will not fall forward.
Falling backward is no problem, since the flyer lands on feet. Falling sideways could happen if the base’s legs are unevenly placed or bent. Then the flyer needs the reflex to land on one foot, which comes fairly naturally.
A5- Folded Leaf Variations
Folded leaf is reached from hand-assisted bird by the base opening out the feet, and the flyer simply bends down. It is a relaxing position with many variations. We demonstrated a few, but you can find a more detailed tutorial here.
A6- Free Bird Mount
The trick with mounting into free bird cleanly is for the base to do a deep leg press as the flyer falls down, and then lift straight up. The flyer needs to hold a strong core.
A7- Free Bird Presses
From bird, one can build strength and balance by doing leg presses. The deeper the press, the more strength and balance are required.
A8- Throne Mount and Saddle Throne
The next three videos are about throne, saddle throne and the high flying whale, which are the main elements of the first beginner flow routine that we learned. We also recommend this AcroNoga video on throne, saddle throne and reverse saddle throne.
Throne mount is easiest, because it is a very stable position, and the flyer can easily hop off. The flyer might need to stand on toes in order to mount, unless the base is very flexible in the hips and ankles.
A9- Throne to High Flying Whale
From throne, the flyer can bend backwards as the base brings one foot at a time behind the flyer’s back for support. This requires the flyer to distribute weight evenly on the 3 remaining support points. The reverse, from whale to throne, is a bit more difficult, requiring more balance. See this video for more details.
A10- Saddle Throne Mount
In saddle throne, the flyer’s legs are wrapped around the base’s legs, so that the flyer cannot simply hop off if something goes wrong. Fortunately, the position is quite stable. There are various ways of mounting into saddle throne, explained in more details in this one out of many other excellent videos by Super Dave.
A11- Back Bird Mount and Back Bird Bow
The next two videos are about back bird and variations. Back bird is more difficult than bird because there is no eye contact and the flyer does not see the ground, so that requires more trust.
Back bird is still quite safe, since the flyer holds onto the base’s ankles. Also, the flyer can easily hop off onto one or both feet if falling sideways or forward. The problem is with falling backwards, and to prevent that, the base must always be ready with hands on the flyer’s shoulders to stop the flyer from falling.
Here we show only the back bird bow, but for other back bird variations, check out Super Dave here.
A12- Back Bird to Straddle Bat
Straddle bat is a key position for many more advanced moves. It requires a good deal of hip flexibility for both: for the flyer to open the legs wide, and for the base to turn toes inward so as to support the flyer. We also recommend this video showing the same demonstration. Here is also one by AcroNoga.
A13- Reverse Throne Mount
The next two videos are about the reverse throne poses. Like back bird, there is no eye contact, but the positions are quite stable.
A14- Reverse Throne to Reverse Saddle Throne
This is a simple transition, to get you familiar with transitioning from reverse throne to reverse straddle throne and back.
A15- Back Bird to Reverse Shoulder Stand
In the last three videos, we introduce some more advanced material, which we hope to complement soon with a second series of videos, which will notably include the bird to shoulder stand transition. Check out the videos by AcroNoga on shoulder stand and reverse shoulder stand, and one by Super Dave on shoulder stand.
A16- Feet-to-Hands: Stand and Press
The last two videos start from the feet-to-hands position, which helps build arm and shoulder strength for the base, and the sense of balance for the flyer. In this video, helping each other, both base and flyers do arms presses.
A17- Feet-to-Hands into Reverse Saddle Throne
This video shows the transition from feet-to-hands into reverse saddle throne. For the exit, one can return to feet-to-hands.
Conclusion: Acroyoga Poses for Beginners
Here, we covered most of what could be considered the beginner’s acroyoga basics. We presented the material in short videos, to help you segmenting the material into easily learnable chunks.
We’re looking forward to hearing from you with comments and suggestions!
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