Yoga has touched several lives all over the globe. Acro yoga is a practice that has been discovered quite recently. As its name suggests it’s a unique blend of acrobatics and yoga. It realizes how yoga and acrobatics complement each other and exploits this aspect to create a special form of partner yoga.
It has two major schools – Acroyoga Inc. which was created by Jason Nemer and Jenny Klein in California and Acro yoga Montreal, which was started in 2001 by Jessie Goldberg and Eugene Poku. The former utilizes the wisdom of Acrobatics, Yoga as well as various healing arts including Thai massaging. The latter on the other hand combines acrobatics and yoga with various dance performances.
Acroyoga Inc. has three major components. These are Solar Acrobatic Practices, Lunar Healing Arts Practices and Yogic Practices.
Solar Acrobatic practices include teaching the disciple acrobatic moves that inculcate trust and soul empowerment. Partner acrobatics is a practice that is based as much on trust as it is on practice and skill. The various holds, headstands, handstands and lifts require trusting your partner completely with your most precious possession, your body. Thus acrobatic practices helps you trust others and make them trust you better too.
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These practices also strengthen the spirit of teamwork. They serve as building blocks for your body’s strength. Routine exercises such as Push ups, down dog push ups, abdominal exercises and partner conditioning drills help strengthen your muscles and prepare you for further more rigorous routines. This practice has three major aims – the base or teaching you rudimentary acrobatics, the flyer or teaching you to trust dance moves that allow you to fly and the spotter that helps you achieve the above safely.
Lunar Healing arts include the knowledge of massages and their healing powers and partner yoga. Massages have been known for their refreshing and relaxing properties. However massages can be used for balancing our bodies and in turn healing it. Partner yoga includes using one another’s weight, breath and spirit to balance that of one’s own. It makes use of gravity, sensitivity, loving kindness, feeling and releasing and inculcates trust too.
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Yoga practices serves as the missing link connecting solar acrobatics and lunar healing arts. Yoga as we all know is more than just a set of exercises, it’s a lifestyle. Practice of yoga helps us know ourselves better. It helps us unlock our hidden powers. While solar acrobatics deals more with trust between partners and using your strengths to reveal those of the other, yoga practices help you to know those of yourself. Yoga inculcates humility, dedication and devotion.
Acro yoga is practiced in communities. As you improve and reach higher levels you receive certificates marking your progress! It is a system based on a delicate balance between receiving and giving and strength and sensitivity
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Acro yoga’s Montreal sect saw its creation in the Special Blend tour of Eugene Poku and Jessie Goldberg, when they realized that the connections between yoga and acrobatics went way deeper than a consistency of principles.
So they combined the various bandhas (internal locks) dristi (gaze) ujiay breath (sounded breath) and vinyasa flow, with various dance forms like modern, jazz, ballet, improvisation and mask work. Yoga and acrobatics promoted a trust in one’s own self as well as one’s partner that is crucial for all sorts of dancing. Once Eugene and Jessie saw this, they discovered the essence of Acro yoga.
The acro yoga Montreal’s mandate is that “Just like b-boying, AcroYoga will become an attitude and lifestyle – not just steps or forms, but an ever changing chameleon that adapts to the practitioner and their environment.”