AcroYoga Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs
Below are common questions we’ve heard over the years, hope they help you out.
do you need to know yoga before coming?
It is an advantage to have some knowledge of Yoga, but it is NOT a requirement. The only “requirement” is to bring an open mind and ready for some fun exercise. Sometimes more experienced practitioners will show you with a few poses on which you can work on. Often people come to Acro Jams with ideas of poses and flows they learned at workshops or festivals or saw on the internet that they want to practice. You often will work with different groups of people in an informal setting.
AcroYoga is meant to be a fun, exciting and inspiring practice. AcroYoga is for everyone. One does not need to be a professional Acrobat or Circus Performer to partake in this fusion of movement modalities. Below are questions commonly asked concerning the practice. We will keep modifying and updating this list as more and more people become interested in the practice.
What should I expect in my first AcroYoga class?
Your first AcroYoga class is going to be a slow steady immersion into a whole new practice. A well prepared class that is sensibly sequenced that includes a large yoga component that is taught by a knowledgeable and certified teacher. The teacher should teach what they know, teach what’s in front of them and touch the heart of the student (you). A yoga warm-up will warm up the muscles and start core integration. Basic partner balances: that continues with the core integration and test strength in the arms and legs. Spotting exercises: safety cues and learning to work as a trio. Also expect standing poses, partner yoga, creative process, core containment exercises, as well as basic stacking partner balances.
What is AcroYoga?
AcroYoga is a form of partner Acrobatics that harnesses elements of yoga. Generally, a base and a Flyer work together to create tandem postures and transitions that often mimic traditional yoga poses.
What is the difference between AcroYoga and Acrobatics?
There are many similarities, and the lines are often blurred between each other. AcroYoga most often uses L-basing, where the base lies on the ground with legs extended upward to support the Flyer. Acrobatics is generally more performance-based and involves more standing work that would be better for an audience. However, the cross-over is vast, and many AcroYoga flows transition from L-basing to standing, and/or standing back into L-basing.
Am I strong enough for this?
Definitely! There are “two sides” of this practice. There is the more Acrobatic side, and there is the more therapeutic side. There are plenty of AcroYoga postures and flows that are entirely passive for the Flyer. As strength and awareness continues to build by practicing, you will find you can sustain flying or basing for longer, and it continues to get easier from there.
Can anyone do AcroYoga?
Yes, as long as you are physically active in some way and have no grave medical conditions, you will be able to practice AcroYoga in one form or another. If you do not like to touch people though it will be problematic.
We like all the Acrobatics but I don’t care for the yoga part, can I still do AcroYoga.
It is called AcroYoga because yoga is only half of the equation. Some Yoga poses are the basis of some of the skills. But you do not NEED to come from a Yoga background or practice. Some of our participants haven't done any yoga.
What should I wear?
You should wear comfortable clothing which does not reveal too much anatomy when you go upside down, bend over or spread your legs. Flyers should have clothing that is more form-fitting so they do not get caught in fingers, hands and toes. Bases usually have comfy clothes and sometimes shorts as to expose the shins where Flyers may need to grasp.
Also avoid wearing any jewelry that can get tangled, cut skin, or get caught in the bases feet or hands. Avoid wearing heavy perfumes.
Is My Hair Too Long?
If you have to ask this question, then yes probably. You probably should bring a hair tie or clip - just in case. It's best to put your hair up in a bun rather than just a pony tail. You don't want your Base to have your hair in their eyes while you are upside down.
Do I need to come with a partner?
You can come with a partner if you feel more comfortable working with a familiar person. But in most classes and jams people find a partner and change partners numerous times. It is good to change partners because it helps us develop tools to adjust to a new environment. When we return to our familiar terrain with our regular partner there is a greater appreciation and respect for that partnership and also new insights gained from working with an unfamiliar body
Why would anyone want to do this?
It is a physical rush when working with a partner and you finally hit the sweet-spot where everything is effortless. It is also a cheap natural high and a great way to interact physical with another human being without all the media enhanced sexual overtones.
I’m very flexible, does that mean I will be very good at Acro Yoga?
Yes and no. AcroYoga at times can be very core-centric. If you have the strength to support your flexibility then you will be fine. If you are overly flexible then your challenge will be to focus on reining in your flexibility so it becomes an asset and not a burden. A consistent yoga practice that focuses on stabilizing all the core muscles of the shoulder and hip girdle and the trunk will bring more balance to your body.
I’m very tight, does that mean I will not be good at Acro Yoga?
Tightness in the hamstrings will affect L-basing, but you can place a wedge or blanket underneath your sacrum to alleviate that. A consistent yoga practice will help you to increase your flexibility and learn to disengage the muscles that are not needed when doing Yoga Asana, or AcroYoga body balancing.
Am I too heavy to practice AcroYoga?
You can still practice but know your limitations and safety. You might end up being a base until you can find someone your size or heavier to fly you. But there are always exceptions: note the guy on the right is TWICE the girl’s weight but she can still lift him. You can also try exploring distributing your weight on a smaller base on different parts of the body, not just the hands and feet.
What is the perfect AcroYoga body type?
The perfect AcroYoga type body comes with a mindset that respects its body’s strengths and weaknesses and is willing to explore these strengths and weaknesses safely with another human being or two.
Is a Jam always a free class?
No. Free jams are usually in a park or somewhere free to the public. A Jam that costs a few bucks are because we need to pay rent for a place. AcroYoga is best learned by doing - a jam is an opportunity to work on what you have been learning in classes and workshops with others in the community. The teachers present are there to ensure safety, answer questions and play.
What to avoid eating or drinking before AcroYoga?
Eat at least 2 hours before a practice and avoid alcohol. A light snack ½ hour before like a banana or apple is o.k. Remember some of you will be hanging upside down, so you really want the contents to have evacuated the stomach by then. You WILL burn a lot of calories, so you may want to have some snacks to munch on during your time. Don’t forget to hydrate!
Are there people who should not do AcroYoga?
If you suffer from vertigo, high blood pressure, a herniated disc, destabilized sacrum, and recent surgery, etc.... If you are unsure PLEASE consult your medical professional, physiotherapist, or your body worker. One should always proceed with caution when trying a new activity.
Will Acro Yoga change my life or save the world?
Yes! AcroYoga will change your life if you stick with it. AcroYoga is essentially trust, communication, and balance between two or more people. Through the interaction and negotiation of these 3 elements we get a glimpse of the reactive and responsive patterns we engage in when dealing with people. These insights reveal to us our strength and weaknesses and through constant observation and input from our partners we can start the process of eliminating all that is not true to our authentic selves (soul) This process of self-observation while interacting with another human being is the catalyst to help us shift the perceptions we have of ourselves, families, friends, society and the world. It is this shift in perception from “I am I and you are you" to "I am you and you are me” and then finally I am because we are, that will start the process of change.
Is AcroYoga just for hippies?
Even though at times AcroYoga participants might seem like a bunch of hippy-dippy, granola-munching, peace-love, type of people. But Acro Yogi people from all walks of life to practice AcroYoga. Some Yogis are just your normal day-to-day friends that come from every walk of life.
Do you have to be a vegan, fruitarian, or vegetarian in order to practice Acro Yoga?
What you eat is your personal business. The food you put into your body will only affect your AcroYoga practice if it stops your body from doing its job of elimination of toxins and absorption of nutrients and energy.
Does practicing Acro Yoga contradict my religious affiliation?
Only if your religious affiliation may discourage physical contact with other people. But otherwise, AcroYoga is the physical practice of balance, exercise, and healing arts. Some poses come from the standard Yoga poses which may carry a religious undertone, but it is usually not taught. Just fun exercise and great balance.