Today, we want to tell you about a wonderful form of whole body and whole mind exercise: Acroyoga for beginners. Here we emphasize that this is not the acroyoga of circus performers with unbelievable strength and flexibility, but instead some activity that could well be accessible to you.
Our main sport is figure skating on ice. It is an amazing discipline for living in the moment and being extremely aware. Otherwise one falls, and for adults, falling on the ice is not good at all! Unfortunately, this discipline is rather inaccessible to the large majority of people. Great for you if you can happily skate all your soul! We’d love to hear about it.
On the other hand, we discovered that acroyoga for beginners offers many of the same benefits of figure skating. Here we will tell you about how we progressed over the past 4 months, and hopefully convince you to give it a good try!
We did not know at all something like acroyoga existed and we encountered it by chance as a random choice presented on YouTube. We watched a few videos and were amazed. About a month later, ahead of a vacation, we downloaded a half-dozen videos to watch on the plane. It took a few more months, until we had more free time around Christmas, before we gave acroyoga a try.
Using a few videos for beginners, we experimented with some very basic poses like Bird and Folded leaf. However, we had some concerns about safety, so we signed up for an Acroyoga Montreal day-long workshop, which was excellent. Indeed, with the help of one, two or up to four more spotters(!), it gets easier and it helps build confidence.
But in retrospect the workshop was just a great but basic introduction, and we managed to progress quite a bit more on our own, and without a spotter.
What is acroyoga?
There are not too many resources, so much so that we started building a website to assemble the resources in one place. However we have just started. We will also refer you the Wikipedia page and Acropedia.
Before getting started, please do read our safety advice! Basically, try everything very slowly. Build skills and strengths step-by-step with regular practice. Communicate well with your partner.
We have been finding that acroyoga is a very wholesome and complete discipline, wonderful to/for:
- Develop mindfulness, being in the moment: the movements have to be done with great care
- Deep breathing and relaxation: it really helps to relax in the poses
- Partner communication, building trust: it takes a lot of trust in your partner and in yourself that things will go well
- Sense of accomplishment: it is not easy, so it is fun to succeed
- Building strength and endurance: when the position is not optimal, there can be a surprising amount of weight on unsuspecting muscles and joints!
- Building flexibility, healing joints
- It can be done at home on just a small amount of floor space. A yoga mat, or even two, can help, but are not strictly necessary.
- It’s addictive! Once you get going, you’ll never have a dull moment!
Here are the basic poses that we succeeded in doing, in chronological order. We will give links to the videos that were most helpful.
- Folded Leaf
- High-flying whale
- Saddle Throne
- Reverse saddle throne
- Back bird
- Hand bird
- Feet on hamstrings
- Straddle bat
- Reverse bird and Reverse back bird
- Shoulder stand
- Reverse shoulder stand
- Shins to feet
- Feet on hands
And of course there are many more positions: we keep working on more advanced positions, like Star and Side Star, focusing a lot on safety!
Early on, we identified this Acroyoga Beginner Flow video to be the most accessible and interesting medium-term goal for us, to work towards slowly but surely. Also, this video is set to the wonderful music of “You and Me” by SOJA (Soldiers of Jah Army), a music group we didn’t know. A must watch!
It consists of a transition from High flying whale -> Throne -> Saddle Throne -> Bird and variations, and reversing the steps to the beginning.
Here is our version, recorded a day after we finally succeeded for the first time. It took us 4 months before we could flow through the sequence and back in its entirety! This is our first acroyoga video: we will be better when we record it again! It is 3 minutes long. It is also the first time Philippe uses one of his piano recordings to accompany a video, here with Eric Satie’s First Gymnopédie.
Hopefully our story helped you with getting motivated with starting on your acroyoga journey, if you are not a fan already!
There might also be an acroyoga group and classes near you, which could speed up your progress and help you become part of an acroyoga community.
We’re happy to hear about your experience or any questions below!Social tagging: Acroyoga