3 Things To Know About Partner (Acro) Yoga

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Partner yoga otherwise referred to as, Acroyoga, is a practice that has been growing in popularity as people open up and come together to share their practice. Be it a flashy picture on social media, on a flyer, or witnessing a performance at a festival, exposure to Acroyoga is growing and it can easily seem an intimidating practice. Although Acroyoga may have you thinking “oh that looks cool but I could never”, the truth is…yoga has never been more fun! Here are a few things to know about the practice to help get you started:

 1. You do not have to be an acrobatic yogi.

Depending on your background in movement arts Acroyoga may seem unusual, or even out of your reach, but at its roots, it is simply partner yoga. Just like when starting your solo yoga practice, some poses may seem inaccessible, but when you get on the mat and dedicate your fullest self, magic happens. The same goes for partner yoga practice; as you combine your practice with someone else’s you may be surprised by your innate capabilities, especially when you have the support of another person to share the experience with.

Broken down, Acroyoga is really just a combination of yogic practices involving syncing breath with physical postures. Often, participants who do not regularly practice yoga find that their Acroyoga experience instills the desire to adopt a grounded yoga practice, which is why it can be referred to as “gateway yoga”. You may think that you have to be an acrobat for partner practice, but when you open up and work together you are flying before you know it!

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2. It comes naturally.

Remember being a kid and saying, “hop on my feet! Let’s do Superman!”?

As a child, you are physically free and open-minded tending towards curiosity and willingness to try new things. As an adult, you can become risk-averse and hesitant to open up to this practice due to feeling shy, weak, or inflexible, however, you can be surprised at how natural the practice comes. Child-like curiosity restores as you open up to discover how much you are capable of; movement starts to flow as if you have been in some of the poses before, which you indeed have! Partner Yoga reminds you of being held again, like when you were young. The playful aspect of Acroyoga is reminiscent of childhood joy and the body likes to follow suit, muscle memory kicks in, and a remembrance that you, we, humans, aren’t too different from other mammals like monkeys, who are found practicing Partner and Acrobatic yoga all the time.

3. All you need is yourself.

You might see a Partner Yoga class and assume you need to bring someone along with you. False! The practice is so playful and fun that when you get into a class making new connections comes naturally. No partner or prior yoga experience necessary to enjoy this practice. Truly, the only requirement is an open mind and willingness to play.

Holly Saitta is an SF based RYT200, entrepreneur, and trauma-informed yoga teacher specialized in medical anthropology and sociology. Passionate about people and building community, she draws on the holistic benefits of yoga and partner practice to encourage people and teens to grow closer to one another and teaches at-risk, marginalized populations for The Art of Yoga Project. Pop by the Yoga Garden SF front desk to say hello, and learn more about Holly and her work at poppyyoga.org.