Hi, love. Thank you so much for being here today. Before we start our yoga routine, I want to ask you a few questions.
Are you tired of doing the same yoga poses in your regular practice? Do you want more challenging yoga poses that will test your physical strengths and mental alertness? Are you looking for yoga routines that solidify trust with a partner or a friend?
If the answer is yes, then you’ll love our yoga routine today. It’s one of the latest fads to the yoga world — the Star Acro Yoga flow. This unique practice combines the elements of Thai massage, acrobatics, and yoga through body movements with a partner. Acro Yoga brings together the elements of trust, strength, and support into the practice as you and your partner work through the different movements together.
For this routine, I’ll be doing the Star Acro Yoga flow with Kristen, an amazing friend and a member of the Get Loved Up community. We’ve known each other for a while and have already built a lot of trust with each other, which is critical for Acro Yoga. We are putting together an online certification, but right now, we’ll just show you the common postures of Acro Yoga as a sneak peek. But first, let’s look at the three different roles in Acro Yoga.
The 3 Roles in Acro Yoga
There are three main roles to fill in Acro Yoga — the base, the flyer, and the spotter. However, the routines are centered around the relationship between the base and the flyer. So, you and your partner should decide which role to fill during the practice.
The base serves as the foundation that supports the flyer. They are in constant contact with the ground. You may think that to take the role of the base you need to have the muscular strength to lift the person. But as you regularly practice the different postures, you will realize that you don’t need to have extraordinary strength to be a base. You just need to learn the skills in transferring the weight of the flyer to the ground in order to even out the weight, and reduce the load.
The flyer, on the other hand, will be off the ground most of the time, depending on the base for support. To be a flyer, you should have a strong core, good balance, and complete trust with the base. Without trust, it would be hard, if not impossible, to get into the position of each pose and feel safe.
The role of the spotter is to protect both the base and flyer from injury during a fall, or to correct the position and prevent a fall. Sometimes, this role is filled by the base during the beginner’s stage. But as you move up to the more advanced phase, it is best not to perform the routines without a spotter for safety reasons.
For our yoga routine today, I took the roles of both the base and the spotter, while Kristen is the flyer. So, let’s get started with our first Acro Yoga posture.
Back Bird Pose
It’s great to start off Acro Yoga by showing courtesy as you position yourself as a base with your back pressed to the ground. Start by placing your hands at your side. Afterwards, put your toes to the flyer’s lower back. The flyer will then grab your ankle as she starts to relax her head and shoulder. Next, hold on to her elbows and straighten your legs up and start pressing the flyer into the air.
Once she feels safe, she will start releasing your arms and grab her ankles while you place your hands on her shoulder. When she feels relaxed, you can let go of your hands and give her a little rock by pointing and flexing your feet as the flyer tries to feel just as light as possible.
The Straddle Bat Pose
From the Back Bird Pose, it’s easy to move into the Straddle Bat Pose. But this is a more advanced stage that requires some muscle strength. So, it’s best to do the calibration procedure first to make sure that you can hold the weight of the flyer. To begin the calibration, let’s move back to the initial pose with your back fully pressed to the ground with both your hands at your side and parallel to the ground. Ask the flyer to face you as you place your toes to her hips, with the pads of your toes on her hip bones. The flyer will start transferring her body weight to your feet while keeping her body straight. Slowly, bend your knees towards your chest, and then press her back up. Do this 3 times until both of you are ready.
When you’re done with the calibration, both the base and the flyer should position back to the Back Bird Pose, but this time grab both her hands with two of your fingers at her wrists. Now, turn your feet around, relax while she’s also relaxing her hips, and bring her legs wide and around. Then, bring her feet together, and grab her ankles.
From there, start moving your feet to the side of the flyer’s hips, crawling forward with the toes. Move the feet until they reach the front part of the flyer, then flex the feet and move them over your hips. Release the shoulders. As soon as the position is attained, the flyer will engage her legs and move her feet closer to the ground while lifting her head away from your core. The flyer will then bend both knees and move the soles of her feet together to form a diamond shape with the legs while grabbing her ankles with her hands.
So, from this position, you can give your flyer a massage by just bending the knees and putting your forearms on the flyer’s shoulders, and just allowing her weight to move towards your forearm. If your flyer wants more massage, she could simply ask for it. That’s the good thing about Acro Yoga: It enhances communication with your partner while building trust at the same time.
The Floating Pashi
The Floating Pashi is a fun position to try because it will test the balancing skills of both the base and the flyer. To get to this position, you should already know the Straddle Bat Pose. So Floating Pashi starts with the Back Bird Pose followed by the Straddle Bat Pose. From there, the flyer will straighten her legs and her arms over her head while the base will hold her by her shoulders. As a base, you’ll have to make sure that both her arms are straight and her ankles and toes are together. Once you feel like you can hold her in your hands, start releasing your feet slowly. That’s it! From the Floating Pashi position, you can let the flyer down to the ground, or you may put her back to the Back Bird Pose from where both of you started.
Acro Yoga is truly fun and energizing because your physical endurance and mental alertness are both tested and strengthened.
Benefits of Acro Yoga
What I love about Acro Yoga is that there are many life-lessons you can learn from the postures. To make the right movements and create balance — ensuring your partner’s safety — you have to concentrate and be mentally present. If your movements are inaccurate, you won’t achieve the balance to keep your partner steady and stable, resulting in a fall.
Acro Yoga can also enhance communication with your partner as both of you tackle the challenges associated with getting into the positions, and getting stabilized. Sometimes, communication is not expressed verbally during the practice, but rather through your body language. You will learn to notice if your partner is struggling or feels uncomfortable or scared, and you can adjust accordingly as you communicate with each other.
You will also learn to trust your partner more. As a flyer, you will totally rely on your partner, being the base that serves as your foundation when you execute the positions. You should also trust your spotter to guide you and keep you from falling. As a base, you need to trust the flyer, as well, to execute the movements properly and accurately to avoid a fall that could potentially hurt you.
Some poses in Acro Yoga are very challenging yet fun. However, it was also scary. At times, my partner and I were scared we could get hurt. We were scared that we could hurt our partner. But when we started to trust each other, that’s the time we let go of our fears.
Take the Challenge and Let Go of Your Fears and Have Fun
Love, I hope this is as fun for you to watch as it was for us to practice. As a certified Yoga teacher, I always like to try new things because I believe that every student has unique physical attributes. I thought Acro Yoga seemed like a great way to start doing something different. There are times you will fall, but it’s okay. Just learn from the experience, and next time, do it differently. Challenge yourself, let go of your fears, and have fun.
If you prefer a more visual explanation of our Acro Yoga poses, check out this video where Kristen and I walk you through the whole process. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more videos of my Yoga practices and self-care workouts.
Do you want more fitness courses and meditation classes? If so, check out my website. I have limited-time offers with a free 30-day trial to the Get Loved Up membership, which is a great platform for both yoga participants and teachers. If you feel like you’re being held back from a life of happiness, peace, and prosperity, perhaps my book, Let Your Fears Make You Fierce, can help you push through your fears, raise your vibration, manifest success, turn your pain into power to create your own reality, and help you love your authentic self.
Let me know how this Acro Yoga routine works for you. You can tag me, @koyawebb, on Instagram. l would love to know your greatest takeaway. Don’t forget to love yourself, love others, and love the world — one day at a time, one breath at a time.
Until next time, love!