How did you first discover AcroYoga?
Was it through Youtube, a friend, or did you get lucky and bump into a JAM on a sunny day and got welcomed to try it out?
AcroYoga is one big invitation into playfulness, connection, and spontaneity.
It's a place where we reconnect to our childlike spirit, which is so valuable and awesome.
And falling down will be as much part of the enjoyment as succeeding at something.
Now although I believe that the real gold is in all the fun you have, if these are your only avenues of learning, you will hit a ceiling at some point.
So in today’s blog, I’ll share four ways to help you improve your AcroYoga skills so that you can keep growing and improving for the long run.
1. Work on your foundation
If you want to soar high into the skies, you gotta root yourself in the earth first.
It can be very seductive to get swept away by all the amazing tricks and flows you see. You’ll want to try out everything, like a kid in the candy store.
It’s like this little playful animal inside that just can’t get enough of new shiny tricks.
Of course, this is an awesome feeling, and it’s great in the spirit of playfulness.
But if you want to grow as an AcroYogi, it pays off to have a solid foundation to build on.
An analogy that has often been used, is that of a pyramid.
If your pyramid of skills has a broad foundation, you can build very high into the skies.
But if your foundation is shaky, then sooner or later you’ll encounter your limits.
Powering through will no longer work, and you might get injured because your body isn’t ready for the next skill level yet.
So practice, practice, and practice your foundation, make it strong, and then you’ll have amazing building blocks for long-term growth and fun.
2. Train your body
The best AcroYogis (technically speaking) are often the people who have a background in dance, yoga, gymnastics, and other sports in which you need strength, flexibility, and coordination.
It’s very valuable to know your own body intimately, to recognize its signals, to be able to “feel where you are in the space” (especially when you’re upside down!)
Of course, most people who start AcroYoga don’t have this kind of background, and this practice might actually be your gateway into knowing your body better: awesome!
The best way to become great at AcroYoga is to train your body regularly. So not just once a week when you go to your class, or when you join a jam, but several times a week.
Building strength is a sure way to protect your body, and building mobility will make AcroYoga a lot more fun (no more tight and painful hamstrings!)
The best way to condition your body is by doing things that you love.
So do handstands, push-ups or wrist strengthening exercises in a way that feels fun, where you visualize all the possibilities that this will bring.
3. Learn proper technique
Youtube, and AcroYoga jams are great - and generally free - ways to learn new skills.
And for some people that might be enough, especially if you’re lucky enough to meet very experienced AcroYogis who are skilled at teaching.
But in general, it’s very valuable to join classes, go to workshops or follow a course with a dedicated teacher.
They’ll be able to pinpoint exactly what you need to learn and where your sticking points are.
They can also see what your next level of growth looks like, and how to evolve in a way that’s safe for you and your partners.
4. Become - and recognize- a great spotter
Good - or great - spotting is an often under-appreciated skill. But in reality, it’s as important - or even more so - as basing or flying.
A great spotter knows exactly what to do in the given circumstance, to make sure the flyer is always safe.
Another thing that a great spotter excels in, is knowing when to hold on, and when to let go.
The skill of reading how well a trick or flow is going and how much support is needed, is invaluable for the base and flyer to make quick progress without unnecessary fears.
Lastly, a great spotter knows themselves: they can estimate whether they can actually catch the flyer or not. Perhaps a bigger spotter is needed, or a second one.
The safety that is now created makes for the most fun to be had.
Because now you can try anything without fear of hurting yourself, take calculated risks, and enjoy the incredible excitement of succeeding at something that you didn’t think you had in you!
We see a lot of people who have taught themselves to simply fall down if a trick doesn’t work.
And though falling is a real and valuable skill (and usually works great when you’re in the grass), you’ll want to know about good spotting as you start trying out more -potentially- dangerous tricks.
This will provide you and your partners with the trust and safety to level up for the long haul.
What do you think?
I hope these tips are helpful for you!
You can let me know what you think in the comments below, and also if there’s anything you would add to the list.
Thanks for reading :)
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