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Acroyoguis practicing Acro Yoga in a park.

Acroyoga (also written Acro-Yoga or Acro Yoga) is a physical practice which combines yoga and acrobatics.[1]

Acroyoga has its roots in the beginning of the century, being developed by practitioners since then. One of the oldest videos of someone doing Acro Yoga [1] is with the famous Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya himself, practicing the role of the base, while a child executed some asanas in 1938. From that time until today, Acro Yoga has gained some new movements, and is still changing. Like Yoga, Acro Yoga was born free, under the universal culture, being about the human being and for the human being.

Nowadays, Acro Yoga has different styles, all with the same root. There are Acro Yoga mixed with dance, Thai massage, calisthenics, Yoga and so on.

Acro Yoga may provide physical and mental health benefits. In addition to the exercise and strength building aspects of Acro Yoga the partner balancing can improve concentration and the massage elements can provide stress relief.[2] However Acroyoga is more vigorous than many traditional yoga practices and this may lead to more injuries.[3]


There are three primary roles in an Acro Yoga practice: base, flyer, and spotter.[4]

  • Base - this is the individual who has the most points of contact with the ground. Often this person is lying on the ground with the entire back torso in full contact. This enables both the arms and legs to be "bone-stacked" for maximum stability and support of the Flyer. Main points of contact with the flyer are the feet (generally placed on the Flyer's hips, groin or lower abdomen) and the hands (which either form handholds or grasp the shoulders).
  • Flyer - this is the individual who is elevated off the ground by the Base. The Flyer can move into a series of dynamic positions, and generally lets gravity do the work for them. A Flyer needs balance, confidence, and core strength.
  • Spotter - this is the individual who has an objective view of the partners, and whose entire focus is on making sure that the Flyer lands safely in case of any slips. The spotter can also make recommendations to the Base and Flyer to improve their form.


Acro Yoga static Inverted Dancer pose


is the physical part of Acro Yoga that uses gymnastics techniques to build strength, flexibility, trust and teamwork between partners.

In the Acrobatic element we have:

Static poses[edit]

Initially basic poses such as bird, throne and whale. When the partners hold the position using equilibrium which is a state of rest or balance due to the equal action of opposing forces.

Acrobatic flying[edit]

Focus on movement, first the flyer learns a static pose, later, how to move from one pose to another, having a movement that is called "transition" in between the two poses.

In the acrobatic flying, there are movements that start and ends in the same position, which is called washing machine. There are many different washing machines. The basic one that is taught is barrel. roll and ninja star


Small jumps where the partners keep physical contact with each other, usually keeping their hands connected.[2]


Reflects the physical, mental, and spiritual disciplines of traditional Yoga


Acro Yoga therapeutic flying – this pose is called Super Yogi.

At AcroYoga Inc this includes Thai massage, therapeutic flying and partner yoga.

In AcroYoga Montreal they teach restorative and yin yoga.[5]

A basic therapeutic pose is Folded Leaf in which one partner is inverted and supported on the vertical legs of the other partner whose hands are then free for back massage.[6]

Therapeutic flying[edit]

The flyer relaxes the body and is guided by the base through some stretches and massage.

To help the flyer to relax, it is crucial to develop trust first, which can be done by practicing the acrobatic flying. Also, it is important that the base has a strong sense of responsibility, care and trust in all the movements that will execute, before start to heal flyers using therapeutic flying techniques.

It can use techniques from different types of massage, having as a result, a deep level of relaxation.

Learning AcroYoga[edit]

Acro Yoga meeting in a public park in Austin, Texas.

Learning Acroyoga requires strength training, flexibility training and technique training.[7] Strength training is accomplished through repetition of exercises like push-ups and hand walking. Flexibility training is best done at the end of a session with a partner. Learning good Acroyoga technique takes time and effort and is best learned with an expert teacher.[7] One important Acroyoga technique is called stacking the bones. This involves the base partner keeping arms and legs straight to maximize the weight load on bones rather than muscles to support the flyer.[8]

A typical Acro Yoga session may include:[9]

  • Circle ceremony promotes communication and openness
  • Warm-up to gradually get your muscles ready for more strenuous exercise
  • Partner flow - continue warming up with asanas and stretching with a partner[10]
  • Inversions help build trust between the partners[10]
  • Flying and acrobatics

Some communities have regular Acro Yoga meetings to provide a place for interested people to come together and practice for free. There are also larger Acro Yoga events such as the annual Divine Play in Portland, Oregon that draw practitioners from a regional or national area.

In the world, there are instructors teaching Acro Yoga in regular classes and workshops.

You can learn Acro Yoga by yourself, but it takes time, discipline and responsibility, as you may not know all the techniques that will make the practice safe, for yourself and others.


There are many static acro yoga poses.[11] A series of acro yoga poses that are repeated in a continuous flow is called a Washing Machine.[12]


There are now many schools of Acro Yoga. The first two schools to create a method to teach and practice were Acroyoga Montreal and Acroyoga Inc.. Acroyoga Montreal was founded by Jessie Goldberg and Eugene Poku in 1999 combining acrobatics, yoga and dance.[13] Acroyoga Inc., began in San Francisco in 2006, founded by Jason Nemer and Jenny Klein. Having acrobatics, yoga and healing arts.[14] Both schools offer teaching certifications, and despite some differences have many similar poses while using gravity to promote strengthening and stretching.[15][16]


In late 2006, AcroYoga Inc. trademarked the word "ACROYOGA" and asserted that the word's first use anywhere was in 2005.[17] However the term had been used since 1999 by Jessie Goldberg and Eugene Poku[18] and their domain, had been registered since 2005.[19] By way of example only, and not as a limitation, "AcroYoga" and the AcroYoga logo are registered trademarks of AcroYoga, Inc., under the applicable laws of the United States and/or other countries.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ferretti, Andrea (June 2008). "Partners in Play". Yoga Journal. Retrieved 16 May 2008. 
  2. ^ Malone, Sam, AcroYoga: A New Form of Yoga,, retrieved 2 February 2014 
  3. ^ Smith, Eva Norlyk (23 March 2013), The Yoga Injuries Debate: How 'Dangerous' Is Yoga, Really?, HuffPost Healthy Living, retrieved 2 February 2014 
  4. ^ Gates, Chee. "Extreme Yoga Poses and Positions". Fitness Magazine. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "FAQ". acroyogamontréal. Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "Partners In Play". Yoga Journal. Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Nemer, Jason and Sauer-Klein, Jenny. AcroYoga Flight Manual, 2008,
  8. ^ "FIVE REASONS YOU SHOULD DO ACROYOGA". Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga. Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "AcroYoga". Kula Movement. Retrieved April 29, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Lee, Cyndi (November 2012). "Partner Up". Yoga Journal. Retrieved April 29, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Poses – Alphabetized". Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  12. ^ "Washing Machines – Alphabetized". Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  13. ^ "About Us". AcroYoga Montreal. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "The Practice: Three Main Elements". AcroYoga Inc. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  15. ^ Cowan, Claudia. "People are flipping for AcroYoga". Retrieved 5 April 2016. 
  16. ^ Shallow, Parvati. "AcroYoga: Better than couples therapy?". Retrieved 5 April 2016. 
  17. ^ "AcroYoga". Legal Force Trademark Search. Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  18. ^ "About Us". acroyogamontréal. Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  19. ^ "Who Is Lookup". Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  20. ^ "Copyright and Trademark Information". Retrieved 3 July 2016. 

External links[edit]

  • free resource to find groups, classes, and workshops across the globe
  • free resource for photos and video of many poses
  • photo archive of acrobatic poses