Updated: Apr 30, 2021
A large part of becoming a good #base in AcroYoga, is to practice, practice, practice.
You’ll want to become both flexible and strong.
These physical capabilities are essential and will develop with time.
But what makes someone a great base?
The qualities of a great base are more psychological, although they translate into the physical.
The cool part is that these skills also make valuable personality traits to develop.
1. Safety first
Always make sure that your flyer feels safe enough to do the pose or flow that you want to practice.
Do they need a spotter? Or maybe two?
Does it help your flyer to cut the pose or flow into small progressions, so they can get used to the movement?
If you’re not certain that you can do this pose without dropping your partner hard, create more safety first!
2. Clear communication
With clear communication I’m talking about two things:
1. Let your flyer know in advance what you’re going to do, instead of just taking them for a ride.
I know, this can be very tempting as a base, but without a certain foundation of trust it can create tension and uncertainty for your flyer.
2. When you’re in a pose, tell them what you want or need: “Can you straighten your arm?”
“Lean more into this hand”, etc. etc.
If you’re groaning, struggling and “fighting” with your flyer,
or tell the flyer what you don’t want, that’s a bumpy road ahead of you ;)
Bonus points: Can you keep communicating calmly, even when things get rough?
3. Sense of direction
As the base, you are guiding the movement or flow.
You have the oversight (the flyer is probably upside down or disoriented :P )
So, continuing the previous point: communicate with your words, your hands, your feet, even with your breath (deep breaths help them relax more into a pose).
The way you squeeze your hands, soften your feet, bend your legs, all invite the flyer to move with you.
And this will get you flowing :)
4. Gentle yet firm
As a base, you’re required to be strong, to carry, to hold, to catch. So it’s important to be firm, and learn to be rock solid.
But some bases feel like, well, just a rock. And that kinda hurts. So be a gentle rock for your flyer.
Be firm enough to give direction and safety, yet soft and gentle enough to make the experience pleasurable.
Soft feet for instance: Your legs can be 100% straight, but your feet are like a soft bed.
Your flyer will thank you for it.
5. Push, never pull
1. The most physical of all these qualities I want to share with you today (or is it?) is one of the golden rules: As soon as you start pulling your flyer, you know that you’ve lost control.
So “push”, or: give support, so your flyer can lean on you, press away from you to find balance.
2. The way this principle works on a psychological level: Instead of focusing on what’s going wrong and being too much of a perfectionist (one of my own biggest pitfalls), focus on what is going well!
So instead of “pulling your partner down”, “push” them up to a higher level:
Let your flyer know what’s going right. They will feel seen, heard and grow in confidence. Things will automatically go better, and you’ll have more fun together!
I would say that a great base is also a good space holder.
What do I mean by that?
A good base makes their partner feel safe, seen and heard.
Once a flyer feels that they can both physically and psychologically trust their base,
they’ll be ready to soar!
Can you see how these qualities translate into your daily life, or into your personality?
Do you like the idea of having or developing these qualities?
This might show you how much you’re inclined to be a “base”, both in AcroYoga and in Life.
Ready to put the tips into practice? Here are instructional videos at three different levels of difficulty, for you to play with (and, remember tip no. 1! ;) )
Want to learn more about becoming a great base?
We offer private AcroYoga coaching for couples & groups of three people in nature. Get coached on exactly what you desire and grow sky-high in no-time!
Photo credit: https://www.loyake.com