Hi, everyone! This week’s post is going to be all about acro yoga. I tried my first class a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been coming every week since then! Check out my Instagram to see a couple of poses from my first ever class. If you’re interested in trying acro yoga, have no idea what it is, or love it and want to know my thoughts on it, keep reading.
What is acro yoga?
Acro yoga (often called acro by its practitioners) combines yoga and acrobatics. There are a bunch of different flows and postures, and all of them involve lifting another person in the air. There’s a base, a flyer, and a spotter. The base is the person doing the lifting, the flyer is the person who gets lifted, and the spotter makes sure everyone is safe at all times. Some flows and postures can be especially dangerous, so it’s important to always have a spotter. If you want to see a couple of the flows I did as a first-timer, check out my Instagram!
Why did you take this class?
One of the fitness centers where I teach barre has partnerships with several local studios. Through this partnership, I can take classes at all of those studios free. Breathing Room is one such studio, in downtown New Haven, where I had already taken a couple of classes. I initially signed up for their acro class by mistake! I thought I was signing up for the aerial silk class (which is another class I’ll be trying and writing about soon!). Still, I decided to stay when I arrived and realized this was acro rather than aerial silk.
I did competitive gymnastics growing up and love anything that allows me to flip or fly. I had no idea what to expect in this first class, but I ended up learning a bunch of new tricks! This was an open class where all experience levels were welcome. There’s also an intermediate class that you need instructor permission to attend.
If you’re local, check out Breathing Room! They offer many different kinds of classes. You’re sure to find one you’ll enjoy.
The class is listed as a 1-hour class (most people were there well over 1 hour). I stayed for about 2 hours - there wasn’t really a firm end time since there was no class after ours. We started with some stretching and sun salutations. Then, the instructor grabbed a couple of volunteers to demonstrate some poses. After that, we broke out into groups and began trying out poses. We rotated groups every few minutes so that we had a chance to work with everyone there. Each person spent time in all three roles (base, flyer, spotter) but I spent most of the class flying. We started with a pose called bird, then worked on some flows using that pose. Once we started working on the star pose, things got really interesting!
There are lots of cool things you can do from the star position. If you’re a flyer, all of them require a lot of trust in your base and spotter! I got to work on flowing from star to side star, then rolling through to bird. I worked on a couple of other flows as well.
This class was an excellent workout. Whether you’re the base or flyer, you’ll definitely work up a sweat. It’s tougher than it seems; not everyone in the class was even able to get up to star and hold it. So, if you do it in your first class, pat yourself on the back! Not only was it a good workout, but it was incredibly fun. When the instructor would demo a move, I’d think to myself “there’s no way I’m going to be able to do that”. But you’d be surprised what you can do when you have a good base!
I noticed that with certain bases, movements were a lot more challenging than with others. That’s why it was great to get to work with just about everyone in the class; to figure out who I work well with.
Any tips for a beginner? Try all three roles. It’s important to try being a base, flyer, and spotter. Even if you go in thinking there’s a role you’ll prefer, try them all out. I really liked flying, which seemed like an obvious choice since I’m pretty light and like being up in the air. But being a base helped me understand how to better distribute my weight while flying.
I’ve really loved incorporating heated vinyasa yoga into my routine each week. It’s a great way to complement a long day at work. I never really cared for traditional yoga, but add heat to the room and I’m there. I’m also trying to make sure I get in at least one good sauna session per week! Check out my workouts from last week below:
75 minute heated vinyasa class
Taught 55-minute barre class
55 minute barre class
Taught 50-minute barre class
30 minutes of lifting
Sauna and steam room session
Taught 55-minute barre class
55 minute CrossFit class
Home barre workout
Do you prefer hot yoga or regular temperature? Would you like me to talk about my experience with Bikram yoga? What are your thoughts on saunas after a workout?
I’d love to hear from you. Let me know!
Other posts you might like:
How I Became a Barre Instructor
Les Mills Barre Review
How I Passed the ACE Group Fitness Instructor Exam
Dominique Cheylise, 25 year-old engineer and group fitness instructor.