The roles in Acro Yoga

Acro Yoga is a partner activity and thus it takes two or more people to practice. But what are the roles in Acro Yoga?

The Base

There can be one or more bases in acroyoga, but in its most common (and simplest) form there will be only one. The base has contact with the floor and carries the flyer. The base’s contact with the floor can be either with the back (L-basing, with feet in the air), feet (standing acrobatics) or belly (belly basing, quite rare).

The Flyer

The flyer will, for most of the time, not have any contact with the floor, and will instead move around on top of the base. Again, there are tricks in which more flyers are involved, but in its basic form it is 1 base to 1 flyer.

The Spotter

The spotter is responsible for protecting mainly the flyer from injury during a fall. The spotter can either prevent the fall (corrective spotting) or ensure a slow landing, thus avoiding injury. However, the spotter role can also be filled by either the flyer and/or base – called self-spotting. This is often practiced once the two have become very comfortable with a trick, and know how to fall safely to the ground.

This role is often the most overlooked (especially on the internet). Acro Yoga tricks that are photographed are often well within the limits of the people involved, and thus there is no need for a spotter. Nonetheless, in the daily Acro Yoga practice, where you often challenge yourself to the limits of your capabilities – and thus have a high risk of falling – the spotter is invaluable and your best friend.

Physical benefits of Acro Yoga

Aside from the emotional and social benefits of Acro Yoga there are many physical benefits to the pratice.  

Firstly, it will improve your body awareness: Not only do you move your body in new ways in relation to itself, you also move with another person which creates a whole new dimension. On top of that, you spend much more time upside down than you are used to.

Secondly, it will help you build strength in both the larger muscle groups, but quite uniquely, also in the smaller supporting muscles, that e.g. help with balance. In my opinion this creates a more adept body, that is strong in a more relevant context/way to our normal life. 

Thirdly, your body will become more flexible. Now, I know this is a loaded word to some, so I will allow myself to explain a bit. You will likely become more “passively” flexible, as you will be pressed into certain poses with weight (i.e. another person’s body weight). However, (and in my opinion more importantly) you will also get more “active” flexibility, also known as mobility. By lifting another human from (sometimes weird and random) positions and into your centre of gravity, you build strength in your outer range of motion, which leads to an increased mobility. 

Lastly, you increase your balance. As mentioned, you will gain strength. The strength will help you balance your flyer more easily. On top of that your neuro-muscular pathways are also trained. This allows your body to correct quicker and thus less strength is required (because as a consequence you are less and less moved into outer position, from which more strength is required to pull the weight back into centre). This is why experienced bases are much more stable, even if they are smaller than their flyer, it is simply a matter of technique.  

Do we rise by lifting others?

Ever since I started practicing Acro Yoga, the saying “We rise by lifting others” has always made me smile. I sincerely believe that we rise (become better people, elevate our mood, feel a purpose and so on) by doing good for others – by helping, listening or in some way lifting others. But the duality of the saying is what really makes me smile, because we can quite literally rise by lifting others in Acro Yoga. 

So by now, you know that I am talking of two types of “rising” and “lifting”: the physical and the psychological. I find it interesting, but not shocking, that affecting people’s mental state can alter our own (psychologically lifting someone = psychological boost to you) and that we in Acro Yoga can transfer energy and rise together (physically lifting = physical rising). What is maybe more interesting and surprising is that we can actually tap into the psychological mood lifter, by physically lifting others! There is something about physically lifting other people, that makes you connect to them in such a profound way that it makes you rise as well.

I am not sure what causes this mental shift upon a physical act…

Maybe it is the trust that your partner puts in you, that makes you rise to the occasion. Do not forget that every time a person chooses to be lifted/based by you, they at some level put their life in your hands. 

Maybe it is the fact that we feel physically strong and capable, which translates into a mental strength and resilience that can be felt.

Maybe it is the fact that you can plainly see joy in another person’s face, a joy that was brought there by you or that you created together. Maybe It brings a sense of purpose or validation

Maybe it is your flyers infectious joy in being able to do something they did not think they could do… Or maybe your joy in being able to do something you thought was hard or impossible. 

Maybe it is a feeling of community that comes from working together, making us feel connected to others and less lonely

Maybe it is a little bit of everything.

No matter the reason, I think it is safe to say that there is rarely something to lose from lifting others, and often something to gain. So, I encourage and recommend you to go out into the world and lift someone physically (or psychologically), share your strength and work together…And maybe try an Acro Yoga class 😉  

Free Akro Yoga workshop

This and next weekend, I’m hosting two free Acro Yoga workshops together with Camilla and Louise. It is a chance for you to bring a friend, husband or colleague and let them try Acro Yoga, then if you fall in love with it (as you likely will.. okay I’m biased here, I know 😉 ), but if you do, then you still have a chance to sign up for our weekly series this January (See under ‘Events & Classes’).


It is completely free

It is happening in ‘Folkets Hus’ (Stengade 50, 2200 København)

Just sign up by clicking on the picture, and press ‘going’ on facebook.. and while you are at it, why not invite a friend? 

Acro Yoga for your next Bachelorparty?

Have you ever considered Acro Yoga for a bachelor party?

If not, I definitely think you should!

These are some of the reasons why I believe Acro Yoga should be at your next bachelor party:

It’s fun! I can almost guarantee that you will end up rolling on the floor laughing.

It’s an excellent icebreaker, to let people meet and connect: Consider all the people you throw together at that type of gathering. There will likely be people who don’t know each other so well, combined with people who have known each other for years. How do you make everyone feel included? Acro Yoga will help you connect all these people and would be perfect at the start of the day as an icebreaker.

For the active bride and the lazy friend: Acro Yoga is a type of movement that can be easily scaled to all levels of skill and energy. It is a great way to move your body and feel active, without necessarily having to shower afterwards. So, if you want a fun sporty activity, but also want to go to cocktail hour later with your makeup intact, Acro Yoga is for you!

Are you still not convinced? Afraid that one of the guests cannot participate? Or have any questions? Then send me a message, and let us talk about what would suit you.