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Backstory on the Whole Acro Yoga Thing 

 May 15, 2020

By  Laura

We've literally just taken up AcroYoga in the last month... literally. And yet, we can already do, like, 5 poses?! For those of you who aren't into yoga, you can do closer to 20+ (non-acrobatic) poses after a month of daily practice. But this is a whole different animal.

Let's start with a brief overview. According to my research, AcroYoga melds three branches together: yoga, acrobatics, and Thai massage (umm.. still not sure what Thai massage is, but when I know, you'll know). There are two types of practice: solar and lunar.

  • Solar: The base (or the person doing the lifting) and the flyer (the person who gets to do all the fun stuff, like being lifted) are both in an active role. This is where they work on the acrobatic, fluid movements together.
  • Lunar: The flyer is more passive in this type of practice, allowing the base to take control. The base supports the flyers weight in various positions twisting, stretching and massaging them (ah, there it is).

As you can imagine, the benefits of each are numerous, so I'll just name a few major ones from our experience so far.

  • Connectedness - Todd and I have been through a lot in our marriage (some of which I'll talk about in the family section of my blog), so reconnecting is vital for us. Like, the marriage-saving kind of vital. Well, I guess that's a little far; God saved our marriage, but this has been incredible restorative for us. It involves a lot of communication (physical and verbal), as well as touching in ways both sensual and laughable (we find the two often go hand-in-hand).
  • Plain Ol' Fun - Seriously, this is as much fun as it looks. Especially when you see the practice paying off and you're actually getting better! As adults, I feel like we often don't get to work on something that shows any progress very quickly (see my posts on weight loss or even raising a teen). However, for us, AcroYoga seems like one of those things that has more immediate gratification.
  • Building Trust - This goes back to connectedness but I thought it deserved its own spot. From the very first time he lifted me up into front bird pose and neither of us broke anythingI knew we could grow from there. And after just about a month, our confidence in ourselves and each other has increased tenfold. Falling also helps.. Yes, actually falling and learning how to do it correctly has helped it not seem so terrifying (even if your husband is a crane and you're a long-haired chihuahua).

I will continue to post more on Acro as we grow in our practice. Let me know if you have any questions or anything specific you want to hear more about.

Cheers!

xoxo

Laura tenPas

Laura


Mother of 4 kids, Special Education Teacher, and NASM Certified Personal Trainer.

Laura tenPas

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  • Hello Laura! This has always interested me because it seemed like a really fun active exercise. I do have a question.. what if the female is bigger in weight? how can we, as a full figure human(because this isn’t gender specific) feel comfortable doing activities in which we get lifted and swung around. Also, I have never done yoga of any kind(just a add in) lol

    Thank you!
    Brendaliz

    • Hey Brendaliz! Yes, all are welcome in AcroYoga. From what I know, technique is more important than strength. Find a partner you feel comfortable laughing and communicating with and you’ll soar!! I recommend watching some videos on beginner acro and try a few basic lifts with a base and a spotter, it will definitely help you feel more confident. Let me know how it goes!! xox Laura

  • Well, I learned a few things from this post – for starters, that there’s an actual name for this! I would always say “you know, that thing that looks like yoga, except there’s two people, and one is balancing the other one in the air…” So, AcroYoga seems a little more efficient. 🙂
    Anyway, I really liked your point about being able to see improvement very quickly. Totally agree with you that this feels less common as adults. I’m not sure if that’s because we try new things less often, or if it’s just our own misperception because we tend to compare ourselves to people that have more experience with something than we do and don’t realize how much we’re progressing ourselves. Either way, reading this reminded me to focus on trying new activities and enjoying the learning process – thanks.

    • Thank you, Jordan for checking out my blog! I’m glad my experience encouraged you to try something new. Keep me updated on what you try! Cheers, Laura

  • Thank you so much for this highly informative article! I took up Yoga in college, and it has definitely helped to improve my physical, mental and emotional well-being. Just taking time to breathe, reconnect with God (I’m a devout Christian), and block off all distractions is crucial to navigating the waters of our lives. Great read! God bless you!

    • Thank you for reading my post and taking the time to comment. You’re right! There is an incredible spiritual connection you can have with God while doing yoga. My husband and I should try implementing more meditation while doing it. I think we’d have to be doing the “lunar” type practice for that. 😉

  • How are you doing that? I follow @britthertz on instagram and she posts all sorts of awesome poses. So I’ve tried to get my bf to do them with me…we fail miserably every time!
    I feel like we’ve got to work on the connectedness maybe? Are you guys learning online or going to classes?
    Martina

    • Awww why do you fail?!? We watch AcroYoga with Super Dave on YouTube. I highly recommend finding some sort of couples yoga in your area. That’s how we got started. Sometimes it helps just to know there’s a spotter around.

  • Hi!
    In the last few weeks I’ve been following many accounts about acro yoga and I’ve been trying to find out more about it, so thanks for this very informative article!
    I am surprised that the person below is also ‘active’ because in general it seems that he or she is always in the same position. I guess that has to do with the strength he or she does to keep the one above him or her and as you say: the one above gets all the fun.
    Isabella

  • Hi Laura,
    This post is so informative, I really learned a lot about Acro Yoga. It seems like a really fun thing to do . And Thai Massage is a similar with sports massage, I can see the connection to Lunar.

    Kind regards,
    Yoana

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