5 Basic Acro Yoga Poses You Can Do Today

This long weekend was the best! On Saturday I went out to Newport Beach to watch the Warriors annihilate the Rockets and enjoy a few pre-memorial day drinks before heading home to sleep in preparation for Sunday’s yoga binge.

I woke up early on Sunday morning to take a yoga sculpt class in Brentwood. Yoga sculpt is similar vinyasa, except you use weights to flow through the movements and there’s a larger emphasis with cardio. Ryan and I had plans to go to the Santa Monica Green — this awesome lawn area by the Pier where people do capoeira, yoga, acro yoga and all sorts of crazy feats of strength.  There’s a girl there who boasts that she spends more time “flying” on Sundays than she does walking. I’ve seen her fly. She’s amazing.

When we arrived, however, we were sad to find the Green closed until June! They’re giving it a fresh cut of grass, so it’s all blocked off with red tape.

No matter to us, however, and we found a nice spot of sand right near the ocean to practice some fun tricks and recruited another yogi to join our Acro Sand fun.

Here are a few basic acro yoga poses you can do with a partner!

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If you can do wheel pose on the ground, take it up a notch (no pun intended), by flying on your partner’s feet! From birdie pose, simply grab one ankle with your hand and then the other. Lift your chest and feel the stretch in your chest and hamstrings.

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Crow pose + Wheel pose = a great back stretch (and not-so-great form in the left arm…working on that)

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From throne pose, talk to your partner and extend one leg out. Point your toes and smile!

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This is a part of an acro routine called the machine. You start in side plank and move into this fun stretch and then swoop around to side plank on the other side. When Ryan and I learned this one, we both became quickly frustrated. Getting side plank is hard because your body really doesn’t want to be stacked on your partner’s feet in such an unstable position. The ironic part is that when you’re stacked, the pose becomes a ton more solid. My biggest problem was rolling my hips forward — which made me feel “safer” but also made me fall. Once I found balance, Ryan had problems keeping me from falling forward as he tried to grab my legs. We were finally able to get it when I got over my fear of rolling off his feet and he learned to keep his legs engaged even as he transferred me to his hands.

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When you have three people, you might as well play! This one took a few tries, but once we got it we all felt really solid. Mindy (top) jumped on my back piggy back style and I leaned forward on Ryan’s feet in bird. When Ryan and I were secure, she swept her legs around. Next for us – that formation, but with Mindy in tree pose.

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