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Buddying up through Acro Yoga in Delhi

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Acro Yoga is all about collaboration, not competition, with a partner

If you head to the Instagram feed of the Delhi AcroYoga Community (@delhiacroyoga) you’ll find yourself asking, ‘How do they do that?’ You’ll also notice that words like ‘high bird’, ‘reverse star’ or ‘spotter and flyer’ almost have a literal meaning.

This partner-based practice “is a mix of acrobatics, Thai healing arts, and yoga,” says Arjun Verma, 35, a Noida-based teacher who is accredited to the AcroYoga International, founded in 2003 in the U.S. by Jason Nemer. He borrows techniques from martial arts, animal flow, and traditional yoga. “Acro yoga is divided into solar and lunar influences,” he says. It focuses on two aspects: solar energy that reflects the acrobatic side with handstands, bird or bow poses that focus on trust-building with your partner. The lunar influence is all about gentle partner stretches to open rigid spots.

“Each practice follows a flow, beginning with a warm-up and ending with a cool down. Acro yoga is flexible in its flow, so the warm-up can range from martial art drills to simple breathing and stretching,” explains Arjun.

The poses look hard, but Arjun says they’re graded, and he’s done them with his mother in her 60s. Acro yoga is fit for anyone at any fitness level, as it is the job of a teacher to train their student to tackle complex postures. “I’ve had people well into their late 50s attend my workshops. It is all about overcoming the voice that’s stopping you,” says Arjun. He also says though that it has the potential to have high injury if a person is over-confident or attempts complex poses after mastering only the simple ones, without supervision.

A mathematics teacher demonstrating Acro yoga

A mathematics teacher demonstrating Acro yoga   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

In fact, the practice stipulates that there are three people involved: the base (the person who supports the other), the flyer (the person who is usually above), and the spotter (who ensures that they’re safe). “This doesn’t mean that the person who is the base must be the man. In fact, my wife (in the picture) who is 52 kg supports me, and I’m at 72 kg,” says Arjun. “This doesn’t just build strength, it also builds confidence that you have strength,” he says.

Arjun, who has dabbled in running, cycling and mixed martial arts says that he has found happiness in this form of exercise, “because it is so much about being aligned and connected to your partner.” You’d imagine that it attracts people in new relationships or even in theatre, but ironically, most people come alone, and they’re usually in their late 20s and early 30s. For Arjun that’s the best part: “In Delhi, where people are ready to fight even if you so much as touch their car accidentally, it shows that people do want to connect, even with a stranger.”

The AcroYoga community meets at Lodhi Garden, in front of Syed Shah’s tomb, Sunday, 10:30 a.m., contact @acroyoga.arjun on Instagram; sessions at Zorba the Buddha, Ghitorni; Delhi Rock, GK 2; BoulderBox, Vasant Kunj

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 3:19:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fitness/buddying-up-through-acro-yoga-in-delhi/article30096166.ece

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