How To Practice For Acro Yoga Without A Partner?
Acro yoga is a beautiful partner-based practice which is fun and available to everyone, beginners and advanced practitioners alike. All you need is a partner who is as enthusiastic as you are to try this fun and exciting practice.
If you want to exercise for acro yoga even when solo, there are a few main focus points you should try to hit with your practice. Regardless of your usual role, whether you are a flyer (the person who is held in air) or the base (the person on the ground, holding the flyer in the air), you will have to develop both strength and balance.
Both the base and flyer have to develop their strength and endurance. The most important part of the body practitioners should aim to establish is the core – since it is our center and key to correct alignment in all postures. In many acro poses, the core must be tightened to allow for the postures to be done correctly and safely. A loose and weak core can open up the doors to poor alignment and possible injury. The base needs a strong core to be able to endure holding the partner for more extended periods, and it is inevitable to be able to pull the flyer back in position if they begin to fall. The flyer needs a strong core to ease the base’s job and to stay in correct form during both static parts of the exercise and movements. The core is also the critical element for many inversions included in the practice.
Plank, boat pose and v-ups are some of the best strengthening exercises you could include in your practice, since they hit many different muscles in your abdomen, and develop muscle endurance. Try to include some back exercises such as back extensions. Leg strength is also important for both partners, but absolutely a must for the base. It is most visible in the standing poses where the base must be firmly grounded to make the flyer safely balance on them. The base should master horse stance and squats for peak strength and performance. Arm strength is necessary for both partners, the base needs to use it to hold a lot of flyer’s weight during some postures, and flyer should have the essential knowledge and strength for arm balances. The good exercises for arm and shoulder strength are arm balances themselves, but also planks and push-ups. If you want to prepare with another Yoga style, Ashtanga would be the best choice since it is the style which focuses on strength and endurance of the whole body the most.
Although this is most obvious in flyers role, both practitioners should be experienced in balance workouts to have an insight of what is happening during the practice, in other words, to have the full awareness of their body. Firstly, they must improve their leg balance, which can be done by standing on one leg in various positions and for example standing/walking on rails and narrow walls. The other type of balance they should try are:
- Arm Balances
- Practicing next to the wall is a great beginner’s option for handstands
- And some easier poses like crow pose can help in this process too.
Besides training their bodies, practitioners should also aim to train their minds to be able to maintain focus, stay calm during practice and most importantly, to have trust in one another. No tricks or acrobatics can be done with an upset or anxious mind. Regular yoga practice and meditation will surely help in this goal, the more we train, the more we are aware of our body. It results in us trusting ourselves first which consequently helps our partner to trust us as well.