"I always enjoy the training sessions with Sarah and Martin. We work with balance, strength, flexibility, cooperation, and take good care of each other. I have developed a lot of skill from the training. Their teaching is aimed not only at beginners in acroyoga but also more experienced acroyogis." Daniel, Aarhus, DK
What is Akro/Acroyoga?
Acroyoga is a practice that blends philosophies and movement from yoga, acrobatics, contact improvisation, dance, thai bodywork, and mindfulness. It is very young and constantly evolving. We address issues of trust, team-work, cooperation, playing with the edge of the comfort zone, self-reliance, voicing our needs, listening inward and outward, flexibility, and we definitely get a GREAT workout and HAVE BIG FUN! We draw from yoga poses and flows, acro-conditioning and partner work; dance concepts of embodiment; improvisational experiences of freedom and self-discovery; games that lift the group energy and connect us to each other; and yogic mindfulness.
OUR TYPICAL CLASS LOOKS LIKE...
Game-, yoga-, or dance-based warm ups that build heat and tease the brain to prepare us for the physical, creative, and social work we will do, and that also introduce a mantra or theme like ‘trust in yourself to earn trust from others' or 'finding alignment from the inside, out.'
Akro-conditioning and technique drills that create kinaesthetic awareness for the later work, as well as bring people in physical contact with each other.
Poses and flows with fundamental theories of partner work, and plenty of time to 'try on' various roles.
Acroyoga Montreal-style guided creative processing where we'll work together to open up original possibilities & contribute something new to the movement community. A jam, may also be included, time permitting. This is the time to continue with instruction material, play with new partners, get extra help with challenges, and, of course, create your next profile pic. ;)
Restorative time, which can vary from a short processing and reflection circle, to a mini-restorative solo yoga session, to a fully guided therapeutic flying or Thai Bodywork exchange.
...a bit about the history and philosophy of acroyoga as it has been given to us...
The father of modern Hatha yoga is also the father of Acroyoga! Krishnamacharya practices L-basing backbend assists in a video with one of his daughters (simultaneously the beginning of family acroyoga?!)
Ken Nateshvar Scott began practicing yoga poses in partnerships with an eye toward yoga as a tool for connecting people. Contact Yoga, Yogasage, and Dance Kinetics were some of the developments of those early ideas. “Contact Yoga is an external expression of an internal union based on sacred relationship” ~ Tesh
Acrosage, a fusion of acrobatics and massage, was created by Benjamin Marantz. He discovered that gentle inversions when combined massage techniques and the kinds of distractions used in Thai Bodywork, helped to manage and heal chronic back problems. His explorations developed into the foundational technique of a whole genre of partner work that we sometimes call Acro Therapeutics, Acropeutics, Therapeutic flying, Thai Flying, or Lunar Acro.
Jessie Goldberg and Eugene Poku, two fusion dancers, began making movement that combined various styles of dance, yoga and acrobatics, and Acroyoga Montreal was born. Martin and I were honoured to train with them, and senior teachers Heidi Blais and Jill Campbell (the AcroYogals) , in 2016 in Montreal. The Montreal style of acroyoga focuses on being in the moment, in balance, with another person.
Jason Nemer and Jenny Sauer-Klein brought their joint experiences in acrobatics, gymnastics, and thai massage together and co-founded Acroyoga International, which is not based on the West Coast, USA.