Updated: Oct 29, 2021
“Acro Yoga blends the wisdom of yoga, the dynamic power of acrobatics, and the loving kindness of healing arts. These three lineages form the foundation of a practice that cultivates trust, playfulness, and community.” ~Acroyoga.org
Yoga inspired partner acrobatics, popularly known as Acro yoga is still in its nascent stages in Delhi. However, it’s raising curiosity amongst many – from professional athletes, dancers, yoga practitioners to corporate executives and home makers. There are acro jams in Delhi, but there is some sort of confusion around it – as in, what to expect and what is expected out of us in these jams. Hence, to bring some clarity, I have put together some points, which I feel will provide soft guidelines to all those who are curious about Acro jams.
Acroyoga jams provide an opportunity to practice and play with other acroyoga enthusiasts. They are unsupervised and unstructured – there is no facilitation, just people gathering to base, fly and spot.* Jams are not meant for teaching purposes, so to learn or upgrade your skills, you should attend acroyoga sessions with qualified teachers. Beginners are welcome to experience jams, but attending workshops is highly recommended.
SAFETY AND RESPECT
Acroyoga is fun and expressive, however care must be taken that there is no compromise on SAFETY and RESPECT! To maintain a happy and healthy environment during acro jams:
Safety comes first
Take responsibility for your safety and the safety of the person you are playing with. If you choose to play with someone who is reckless, realise that this is a safety decision you made for yourself. Choose your spotters wisely.* It is OK to say Yes or No to an invitation to base, fly or spot. If you don’t feel comfortable playing with someone, or if you don’t feel like playing in that moment, just politely say No, thank you.*
Before trying a pose or drill, a responsible practitioner will first discuss it with the group (flyer, base, spotter) to check if they are in sync, to weigh possible dangers and to discuss specific spotting requirements. It’s easy to get carried away by an exciting pose or sequence that you saw others practicing on social media. But such spontaneity without thorough discussion is a compromise of safety.
Being strong is not enough. In acroyoga, proper technique is important for flying, basing and spotting. Spotting is a great responsibility. If you are not sure about how to spot or unaware of the correct technique , please say No if asked to. Avoid manipulating flyers physically to suit your spotting needs. If you see something unsafe, politely ask the flyer to exit the pose and then discuss your observations. An experienced acroyogi understands that trust is earned, not demanded or forced.
Setting up for jams
There is a natural desire to set your mat close to others, but be sure to leave enough space around you. If you or your flyer or spotter move or fall and hit another base or flyer, it can be dangerous.*
If you’re injured or unhealthy avoid acroyoga until you’ve recovered. This is not an activity you should push yourself into when ill or injured. You don’t want to put yourself, your partner or your group in danger.
Attire, gear, etc.
– Yoga mat
– Stretchy, fitting attire
– No jewellery or belts
– Empty pockets
– Hair tied away neatly
– Nails trimmed on hands and feet
– Hand towel
– Water bottle and snacks
While we love to capture and share our acroyoga jam moments, please practice safety and respect. Be mindful that some people are not comfortable being photographed. Get permission before taking others’ pictures or for sharing on social media. While taking photos make sure you are not disturbing others. It can not only be distracting but also a compromise of safety to do so. It’s ok to say ‘NO’ if you don’t want to be photographed.
Last but not least
There is an ample amount of physical contact in acroyoga and both partners invite each other into their personal space. There is trust and care in that contact. THE SPIRIT OF ACROYOGA DOES NOT PERMIT ANY KIND OF FORCEFUL OR SEXUALLY MOTIVATED CONTACT, ACTION OR BEHAVIOUR. We have not encountered such situations in our jams. However, if anyone experiences any action or behaviour which is not in sync with the spirit of acroyoga, kindly inform the jam leaders. Cheers
– Kanika and the other Delhi acro admins
*Inputs inspired from the article “AcroYoga Etiquette by John Richter” and information available on “www.acroyoga.org”.