Acrobatics and yoga combine in a balancing partner act known as AcroYoga. With the fitness trend becoming more popular in Connecticut, here are 5 things to know about AcroYoga from yoga instructor Sasha Krushnic and yoga student/assistant Christina Boyd, both of Vinnie’s Jump and Jive in Middletown.
AcroYoga is all about physically lifting people up into different postures and balancing them in the air. The person lifting and the person being lifted are both using different muscles in their body to avoid falls.
Boyd said she often uses smaller muscles that she didn’t even realize she had while performing tricks and balancing. Muscles can develop through the different postures in AcroYoga. Like regular yoga, AcroYoga is also a mental exercise with relaxing poses that stretch different parts of the body.
Both Krushnic and Boyd said AcroYoga helped them become part of the community and has provided an outlet to escape from everyday life.
According to Krushnic, age doesn’t matter when it comes to AcroYoga. He said people in their 70s have taken classes for the first time. While acrobatic, dance and gymnastics skills are helpful, no experience is necessary to start taking classes.
Though the partner aspect of AcroYoga is important, Boyd said it is not mandatory to bring a partner to class. She said when she moved to Connecticut, she attended classes alone and met people who would eventually become her partner for the exercises.
Stretching beforehand is important in order to avoid injury when practicing the variety of postures and flows. The dress code is what people would typically wear for yoga — comfortable and flexible clothing.
There are hundreds of different postures and flows involved with AcroYoga, but here are just a few basics:
Bird — A person is lifted by their partner’s feet into a plank position with arms at their side and chest up. Krushnic said everything else looks up, even the feet while balancing in this position.
Shoulder stand — From bird pose, the person who was lifted holds their partner’s ankles and lowers down into a handstand position, balancing by their shoulders with their feet straight up in the air.
Straddle — From the shoulder stand pose, the legs are brought back down so they rest on the partner’s feet and straddle in a split position to each side. The shoulders and arms are relaxed.