What is Acro Yoga?

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Acro yoga (also written AcroYoga or Acroyoga) is a combination of acrobatics and yoga. Think circus arts, cheerleading and yoga all fused together. It includes many partner and group acrobatics where at least one person is lifted. 

Some question if it is really yoga but those that practice and teach acro yoga say it is a combination of the balance & connection of yoga, the fitness & energy of acrobatics, and the holistic healing power of therapeutics.

The practice allows for social interaction between people from all cultures. Connections are made through play. Participants have the potential to enter a deep state of meaningful connection as trust is built with the partner, some risks are taken and a great deal of fun is had.

A “traditional mat based practice” is a solitary practice but key to Acro yoga is communication. 


When you perform yoga poses with another person it is called partner yoga but when the moves become more acrobatic in nature it is called Acro yoga. 

It is a therapeutic form of yoga that is also playful and fun. 

It’s about incorporating connection and trust to your typical yoga practice and merging that with the power of flow and breathing.

Pose Names

Here are 6 poses that we found in the aerial yoga journal (2)

acro plank pose
Plank Pose
Acro Chair Pose
Chair Pose
Acro Whale Pose
Whale Pose
Acro camel
Camel Pose
Acro Boat pose
Boat Pose
Acro Back Bird
Back Bird

The Three Roles in Acro Yoga

There are 3 roles in acroyoga; the base, the flyer and the spotter.

The Base

The grounded person is the base. They have the job of carrying and balancing the flyer(s) on top of them. the stronger , more stable and flexible the foundation they easier it is for the flyer.  

Often the base will be laying on their back with hands and legs in the air like in gravity pose. The base may also be standing or laying on the belly. 

the Flyer

The person who is balancing on top of the base. There might be one or even two flyers. The flyer has one or two point of contact with the base. they need hold good body tension so that they can control themselves in the air. 

The Spotter

The spotters main role is to keep the flyer safe. They stay close by and support the flyer and the base with hands on spotting whilst the trick is being learned. They can prevent potential falls from happening. Spotters will have been trained to spot correctly to prevent injury to themselves and be most effective to the partners. 

Who Can Do It?

The great thing about acro yoga is that anyone can do it. It doesn’t matter matter how old you are, what size you are, your skill level or how fit you are. 

The great thing about this practice is that you can start with simple partner moves that get progressively harder and complicated. 

Those that run classes say that about 80% of people arrive on their own and are paired up a partner based on size and body proportions. Those that practice regularly find it is best to be paired with some one that they get on with. Having the same partner means that you become familiar with how each others body moves and how to communicate the moves being performed. 


Sources reveal that Acro Yoga was developed by Jenny Sauer-Klein and Jason Nemer, a dancer and a yogi in the USA in 2003 (1). However, it has technically been practiced since as early as the 1800s in Japan. But it was Sauer-klien and Nemer that began to institutionalizing the practice.


Where Can I Learn Acro Yoga

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Acro Yoga Books

Until recently if you couldn’t get to any local lessons, workshops or festivals the main place to learn the practice was from YouTube videos – which can sometimes be a little bizarre and some cans how you dangerous practice. The other place to learn is from some really good quality books available to buy on Amazon. 

We really like the book Elements of AcroYoga: Partner Practices for a Lifetime which was released in 2015 by Jason Nemer. It contains the foundational and in-depth philosophical and conceptual training tools of AcroYoga including acrobatic training techniques, step-by-step inversion methodology, refined Thai Massage sequences, therapeutic flying sequences, new acrobatic positions, and step by step transitions. There are full-colour images and detailed descriptions of the partner moves.

Another great book my good friend Katy has tried is It Takes Two to Yoga: Asanas for Couples & Partners. This superb book starts by guiding Acro Yogi’s through some poses to prepare you for the work ahead then leads you through over 40 partner poses. Poses such as London Bridge, Flying Bow and Butterfly Arch to name just a few. The reader is presented with photographs and detailed instructions on how to perform the partner poses. What sets this book apart from the others is that it focuses on non-verbal communication. A great book for those starting out with a friend or life partner. 

There is also a new book being released in September by the founders of acro yoga in its current form Nemer. the book called Move, Connect, Play: The Art and Science of Acroyoga in the USA and it’s available in the UK from September 2021. It’s a great book that details the core principles of Acro Yoga. Learn specific exercises and routines for how to train safely and effectively in 10 key areas for training Acro Yoga (strength, flexibility, technique, balance, breath, gravity, relationships, mental, emotional, and sustainability).


In addition to a few comprehensive books, there are some great video tutorials available on Amazon. The Acro yoga series delivers step by step instructions for beginners and intermediates.  Flag pose, free bird, Throne, flying ninja, high flying whale and flying mermaid are some of the Acro Yoga poses in the series. 

If you are the sort of person who learns best from watching others then this video series is a great place to start.

The videos are both affordable and of good quality. 

They are available in HD as standard, but if you would like to pay just 50% of the cost of one video you can click on the “more purchase options” and pay less for SD. The other buying option is to try out an Amazon Primes wellness subscription where you can access a full range of exercise videos. 

You can find out more about these video’s over on Amazon

Online Lessons

A hot-spot for learning the partner-centered practice of acro yoga is online. Since the global pandemic there has been a huge shift to online lessons. 

The style of teaching is dependant on the provider. Some offer downloadable videos that you can watch and practice at your leisure and others provide 1-1 lessons where they watch want you and your partner are doing via a platform such as Zoom.

The style of teaching will be somewhat dependant on your budget as well as your schedule. You might not be able to a mutually convenient time to learn with the instructor, especially if you are on different time zones. 

If you are a novice a good place to start is downloadable lessons as these are usually affordable and much more convenient for most peoples lifestyles. 

Once you become more experienced or need some pointers then 1-1 online lessons might be worth considering. 


Some love the traditional yoga practice, but if like some you find it too solitary, you want more of a social experience then Acro Yoga could be for you. 

However if you are a yoga purists, this practice may not be for you as balancing is probably more important that the postures and  connecting breathe with your movements. But you will need to breathe, concentrate and connect with your Acro partner. 

If you like acro yoga you might also like aerial yoga, a playful practice that take you into the air to practice advanced yoga moves, fun inversions, flips and tricks, whilst connecting with your breathe and putting trust into the fabric.