Are you one of those who practice yoga to mentally and physically stable yourself? If not, it’s high time you start trying. And don’t stop with just yoga, up to your game to AcroYoga. It’s currently the age of physical practice of AcroYoga which can let you fly! AcroYoga is a combination of Yoga and Acrobatics, giving you healing and therapeutic effect.
If you feel like adding some interesting aspects to your every day Yoga practices, here are some useful poses to try with your partner.
Acro Yoga Poses You Can Try With Your Man!
- 1 Acro Yoga Poses You Can Try With Your Man!
- 2 Let’s Dive Deeper: Work Together Or Fall Apart
- 3 Try These 12 Acro Yoga Poses With Your Man
Acro yoga doesn’t end with just yoga it is a combination of yoga, healing arts, and acrobatics. Acrobatics is the extraordinary performance of human accomplishment of balance, quickness, and motor coordination. It mostly includes activities of gymnastic elements and circus arts which will help your awareness of presence increase(1). Combine yoga with gymnastic elements, there you have acro yoga!
It’s where at least someone is lifted in the air. Wouldn’t you like to fly? With the number of pictures of two-person yoga poses you see on social media platforms, it is pretty hard to not be interested in trying them out. But after staring at the picture of two or more people smiling enthusiastically or laughing while being balanced effortlessly on someone’s feet, you go “it looks impossible, I can never do that!”. Let me enlighten you on the little secret; yes, you can. Anyone can do it with the right practice and postures. It is a practice of substance, not flash.
You want to partner up with someone you can trust to keep you up and not let you slip down. If acro yoga is known to build trust and teamwork, who else is a better person to partner up with than your man? Get your man up and about ladies, you have got some flying to do!
Let’s Dive Deeper: Work Together Or Fall Apart
Contrary to the common belief, acro yoga poses don’t need the larger of the two to do all the lifting. Acro yoga honors gravity, hence you can lift your man too. Keep in mind that it’s muscles that tire and not bones; bones are solid, they won’t bend. So, learn to get out of your muscles and into your bones. You can lift your man of 215 pounds with ease. Acro yoga is a teamwork of two or more persons that will let you take control by letting go, which is the fundamentals of trust. You should work together for it to work the best.
There will be three primary roles in an Acro yoga practice,
- Base: This individual will do all the lifting and will have the most points of contact with the ground.
- Flyer: This individual is lifted off the ground and elevated up like a flyer by the base. They can generally make the gravity do the work for them. They need balance, core strength, and confidence.
- Spotter: This individual is the one who makes sure that the flyer lands back safely and whether their positions are right. A spotter is not necessary, but if you can find someone to spot for you to recommend ways on how to improve your pose, it will be better.
Try These 12 Acro Yoga Poses With Your Man
There are many yoga poses you can try with your partner which can literally turn your world upside down. But being a beginner you have to be careful and slow with each step which makes it more challenging. With time and practice, you can improve these poses to the intermediate ones which are not really difficult either. Start the acro yoga with gentle full-body warm-ups; explore every muscle and joint in your body and do some easy stretching(2).
This is the foundation pose for more advanced poses, so the Front Plank is basically the first pose you should try. Even with a solid foundation, this will teach you to balance. Stay in the plank position for 5-10 breath cycles.
What to do?
Flyer: Adjust your groin(3) on the base’s feet, keeping your body in one line from shoulders to heels. Reach forward and clasp your base’s hands. Keep your arms straight to create a straight line from your shoulders to your man’s. Press into the ground with your feet to lift off. Once lifted, keep your core engaged, and straighten your legs and point your toes.
Base: Keep your arms straight and directly over your shoulders as your flyer lifts off. Lift the flyer with bent legs initially, and then slowly straighten your legs, positioning over hips or groin. Push the flyer in a controlled way by keeping your knees slightly bent if your hamstrings are tight. Then, bend your legs to bring the flyer down.
Another basic acro yoga pose that can be done with ease by anyone who has done Front Plank. These two are the same, but the front bird means hands off! When both of you feel confident enough, the flyer legs go of the base’s hands and spreads the arms sideways. The front bird will teach the flyer to feel comfortable letting go of the base’s hands.
What to do?
Base: From a stable Front Plank, press your toes into your flyer’s lower belly. This will help the flyer lift her chest to balance with arms open. You can either bring the arms down or keep arms up for extra safety if in case the flyer tips forward or the spotter is slow.
Flyer: If you feel stable and confident enough, let go of your base’s hands and reach your arms sideways. Slowly bring them back like a bird’s wings. There you can fly!
This is a little more advanced from the basic poses. But with careful flex and point from the base, the flyer can achieve the stability to do this pose.
What to do?
Flyer: Once you feel stable in Front Bid position, slowly bend your knees and try to grasp your feet with your hands that are back there. Keep your core engaged, legs strong, and chest lifted. Breathe slowly and deeply while trusting your base to support you from beneath.
Base: Point your toes to help the flyer lift the chest.
High Flying Whale
An amazing heart opener that helps the length of the upper thoracic spine for the flyer. A gentle yet deep backbend that demands a more concentrated balance from the base. The base gives the flyer a great surface to extend arms further in this supported backbend. The flyer can take this as the shoulder opener with different movements of the arms.
What to do?
Flyer: Stand in the opposite direction of the base with your feet framing the base’s shoulders. Keep your entire body engaged while leaning back to accept the support of the base’s feet. Once you start to lean, reach for the base’s ankles for support. Then, stretch your arms above the head. Breathe slowly and deeply for 10 breath cycles.
Base: After the flyer stands in the position, grab the flyer’s ankles and place your feet on their upper back, framing their spine. As the flyer leans back, your heels should end up around their shoulder blades. Adjust accordingly. When you have the flyer’s weight on your feet, press your feet away from you and initially bend your legs. Then, slowly straighten your legs and push the flyer’s back up taking their feet off the mat, while supporting their ankles. When the flyer’s weight is completely on your feet, straighten your arms straight. You can also give a little toe point for a deeper backbend. While coming down, bring the flyer’s feet down to the ground as close to your shoulder as possible. Gently push into the flyer’s upper back with your toes.
Spotter: You can help the flyer and base communicate regarding how long they would remain in the position. Tell them how to adjust their body to get the right position. While coming down, hover your hands around the hips of the flyer and bring their feet to the ground if the pose gets wobbly. Help the flyer get back to their feet.
This pose is the base for therapeutic acro yoga because this pose will give the base a chance to massage the back of the flyer. The pose starts with the flyer and base staying in a Front Plank pose.
What to do?
Base: Place your feet on the groin of the flyer but turn them slightly out creating a “V” shape. After the flyer bends their torso(4), you can massage their back. When the flyer is ready to come down, connect their hands with yours and slowly bend your knees. Let the flyer come to a standing position.
Flyer: With the bases’ legs slightly turned out, you will have more space for the movement. You can fold your torso over the base’s legs. Once the feet are set up, from the Front Plank position, let go of the base’s hands. “Hang” or bend forward towards base’s legs. After staying in the position for however long you want, come into Front Bird Pose. The base will help you come down slowly to stand on your feet. Take your time as you have been staying inverted for a long time.
Another easy acro yoga poses that anyone who exercises can do. This will help both the flyer and the base build core strength and learn how to support a partner.
What to do?
Base: Take a plank pose. Keep your hands vertical and straight down with a shoulder-width distance. Let the flyer stay on top of you while your core is engaged.
Flyer: After the base takes the plank position, facing your base’s feet, place your hands on their ankles. Press down with straight arms, lift the foot closest to your base, and place your ankle on the base’s shoulder. Point your toes and press into the top of that foot. Engage your core muscles and legs. Then, place your other leg on your base’s shoulder. For more stability, keep your shoulder directly over your base’s ankles.
Partner Forward Folds
Fun poses for both partners to get a deep stretch in the back and hamstrings.
What to do?
Flyer: Stand back to back with the base. Spread your feet apart a bit wider than hips-distance. Hook your elbows above the base’s elbows. When your base leans forward, you will be slowly lifted off the ground. Then you can either bend your knees into your chest, or do a wide straddle stretch, or straighten your knees up towards the sky. The base will bring you down to the ground.
Base: After standing back to back and hooking elbows [your elbows should come underneath], lean forward slowly. Keeping your back straight, lean until your torso is hip level. Let the flyer do what they prefer. Slowly bring yourself up along with the flyer to bring them down on the ground.
Fish On A Rock
It is a great opening for the hips and the back of both the flyer and the base. Fish on a rock is a more restorative acro yoga pose.
What to do?
Base: Move into a child’s position with your knees stretched out wide and your hands extended out in front of you. Rest your forehead on the ground. The flyer’s back will be rested on top of yours to create an arching shape.
Flyer: After the base lies down into a child’s position, you should lie on your back on top of the base’s back. You will come into a position like your back will be arched over the base’s back for a deep stretch. Extend your arms and legs out to the sides. Come back to the normal position after 10 deep breath cycles.
Foot To Hand
This pose is for balancing and establishing the feeling of support for another person’s weight.
What to do?
Base: Lie on your back and extend your legs straight up creating an “L” shape with your body. Then, bend your elbows so that your forearms are facing up, with wrists over your elbows. When the flyer stands on your hands, grab their heels to support their balance. Keep your elbows on the ground and forearms straight to keep the balance.
Flyer: Stand near the base’s head and grab their feet for support. Step your right foot into their right hand, and do the same on the other side. When you feel stable and comfortable enough, slowly take your hands off the base’s feet and stand straight up. You can either keep your hands on your chest or on your hips.
Chair Pose On Shins
This will build up leg strength for the base and helps in working up the balance for the flyer.
What to do?
Base: Lie on your back with your knees bent and stacked over your hips. Your legs should be kept apart in the hips-width distance while extending your arms up to support the flyer. After the flyer sits on your shins in a chair pose, grab their tops of the feet to give them more balance.
Flyer: Stand near the base’s feet while facing them. Place the ball of your right big toe on the base’s right shin. Grab the base’s hands for support. Lift your leg foot and keep it on base’s shin. Now, release their hands when comfortable and slowly stand up. When you find the balance, bend back to sit onto a chair pose with your arms extended past your ears.
This could be a great workout session if you want to, focusing on core engagement.
What to do?
Base: Lie on your back with legs stretched straight and arms at your sides. Your legs should be kept apart with hips-width distance. Grab ahold of the flyer’s ankles when they lift legs off the ground. Keep your arms straight. Now, simultaneously, lift your torso off the ground while extending your arms above your head, still holding the flyer’s ankles. Then, you will create a box shape together with the flyer.
Flyer: Bend down towards the base’s feet and grab their shins. Lift your legs off the ground, one at a time, your ankle will be held by the base. Keep your arms straight, you will be in a Plank Pose. Then, together with your base, start to lift your hips to move into an upside-down “L” shape. Together, you will create a box shape with the base.
This is the exact opposite of the Front Bird, with the flyer facing the opposite side.
What to do?
Base: Lie down with your legs extended up making a 90-degree angle with your body. When the flyer aligns the back to your legs, bend your knees. Grab their hands to support when you straighten your legs to lift them up. Let go of their hands when they reach for their legs. When it’s time to come down, bend your knees to bring the flyer down.
Flyer: Stand with your back to the base’s legs. With the base’s knees bend, sit in the cradle of the sole of the base’s feet. Reach your arms back towards the base and lean back on them. When the base lifts you up, straighten your left leg while bending your right knee aligning the right foot with the left knee. You will be moved into a semi-back bend position. Reach out your arms to the feet for balance. Breathe a few cycles and with the help of the base, stand back on your feet.
Acro yoga is the most playful form of physical yoga practice, besides laughter yoga, of course, and is also a creative form of asana. Learning it requires technique, strength, and flexibility. Train your strength through push-ups and ab work to strengthen your arms and core(5). Train your flexibility with a daily yoga practice.
Try these with your man by switching sides. This will help you concentrate more and put trust into him all the while strengthening your balancing. Besides, acro yoga is fun and a total mood booster!
- Acro Yoga.Inc (2006-2013). Elements of acro yoga. [online] Available at:https://www.scribd.com/doc/272757906/Elements-of-Acroyoga
- Cruz Bay Publishing. (2006-2013). AcroYoga 101: A Classic Sequence for Beginners. [online] Available at:https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/acroyoga-101-classic-sequence-beginner
- Wikipedia.org. (2006-2013). Groin. [online] Available at:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groin
- Wikipedia.org. (2006-2013). Torso. [online] Available at:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torso
- 2019 Skyrocket Group Limited. (2019). 7 Reasons to Practice AcroYoga. [online] Available at:https://www.doyouyoga.com/7-reasons-to-practice-acroyoga/