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1-3 Valkyriegade
København, 2200
Denmark

Teaching by Peter Hunter and blog in both Danish and English

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Filtering by Category: Acroyoga

What is Acroyoga?

Peter Hunter

Acroyoga is a relatively new form of movement combining elements from yoga, acrobatics and thai-yoga-massage. Acroyoga can be split into a "solar" and a "lunar" practice, (meaning sun and moon) where the former emphasizes acrobatic, powerful and dynamic movements, and the latter emphasizes softer, surrendering and sensitive qualities.

The acrobatic part of acroyoga often gets the most attention, especially because many people get addicted to how fun it is. But if you don't only want to fly high and challenge your fear, acroyoga presents a host of delightful ways to massage, rock and stretch each other, both in the air ("flying therapeutics") and on the ground ("thai-yoga-massage"). These techniques also require a lot of trust and are an essential part of the well-rounded acroyoga practice.

When practicing acroyoga, the foundational setup consists of three persons each with a specific role to play. These are the base, the flyer and the spotter. As you can probably guess, the base is going to carry the flyer, and the spotter will be attentively on the side making sure the potential falls won't be dangerous.

Practicing each role requires and develops different qualities. To be a base demands a calm, grounded temperament, and stability is a primary virtue. To be a flyer demands courage and trust, allowing someone to carry your entire weight and move you through the air. To be a spotter demands attentiveness and mindfullness, always being ready to catch or slow the fall of the flyer when necessary. 

For every role developing the art of listening is a beautiful goal. Patient, friendly communication!

I have practiced and taught acroyoga for +4 / +3 years. Especially with my partner, Julie Hendel. To get an idea of what akroyoga is, you might want to watch us in action in the video below. :)

A little more about Acroyoga

In my main high school project I wrote about acroyoga through the lense of two subjects, math and physics. Here is my description of acroyoga from that paper:

Acroyoga is a new and growing movement trend, that, as the name implies, combines elements from yoga and acrobatics [1]. Since 1999 the word has been used by J. Goldberg and E.. Poku[2] in Canada to describe their special blend of yoga, acrobatics, dance and performance. And since 2006 Jason Nemer and J. Klein [3] from California have used the name to describe their mix of yoga, acrobatics and thai-yoga-massage.

In all schools of acroyoga you learn to carry each others weight, trust each other and work with balance and body awareness within a safe learning environment. Acroyoga sets itself apart from the disciplines from which it draws inspiration in the following ways. The softness and sensitivity of the practice oppose the rigidity and power of gymnastics and acro. The necessity of communication, verbal and non-verbal, can set acroyoga apart from most forms of yoga practice, although breath is still an important element. Finally, the healing arts are a bit special because some of the techniques take place on a "flying" person up in the air, not something you see in most types of massage.

The social aspect of acroyoga is what many people mention, when they explain what they really like about the discipline. Good communication is essential when practicing acroyoga, since the requirements of teamwork, technique and shared intention are high.

The three roles of acroyoga are the base, the flyer and the spotter. These roles are associated with the qualities of stability, trust and attentiveness. In acroyoga the flyer moves through the air on top of the base into (yoga-inspired) positions and through dynamic flows. The more difficult and dangerous the movements the more important the work of the spotter becomes.

Acroyoga has grown exponentially within the last decade, and has similarly to Parkour [4] made its way into communities, organisations and various schools both in Denmark and internationally. [5]

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acroyoga

[2] http://acroyoga.com/about-us

[3] http://www.acroyoga.org/about/the-acroyoga-practice

[4] http://www.streetmovement.dk/about-us/ - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkour

[5] Fx Akroyoga København og Akroyoga Århus