Simple Acrobatic Yoga Poses for Beginners

Nadia Santiago
Couple doing acrobatic yoga pose

Ease your way into acro yoga with a few easy acrobatic yoga poses for beginners. While this type of practice requires some strength and a great deal of patience, it can be a lot of fun for those who are just starting out.

Folded Leaf Pose

Folded leaf is a basic acro yoga pose many yogis learn as the basis for an intermediate to advanced flying practice. It's a relaxing inversion for the flyer.

  1. The base begins laying on his or back and placing his or her feet on the flyer's hip, toes turned out to a 45 degree angle.
  2. Keeping a firm tummy, the flyer leans forward, taking the base's hands and lifting her feet off the floor as the base presses his or her legs to straight.
  3. The flyer separates his or her feet wide and bends at the hips, folding forward.

The base can massage the flyer's back if he or she likes.

Jedi Box Move

The Jedi Box is a simple yet fun move that works the shoulders and abdominals for both the flyer and the base.

  1. The base should begin laying flat on his or her back, elbows bent to a 90 degree angle and hugging tight to the torso.
  2. The flyer places his or her hands on the base's ankles and comes into a pushup position, ankles in the base's hands.
  3. The base straightens the arms and does a sit-up as the flyer pikes his or her hips up into the air, coming into a handstand.

Both partners should maintain a firm core and long arms as they hold the pose.

Couple in Jedi Box yoga pose

Reverse Thigh Stand

A counterbalance in acro yoga is when one yogi uses his or her weight as a lever, moving in the opposite direction of the second yogi, to balance out the pose. Reverse thigh stand is a counterbalance. It works the abdominals of the flyer while engaging the quads, arms, and back muscles of the base.

  1. Begin with the partners standing close to one another, flyer facing away from the base, the base's knees bent to a 45 degree angle.
  2. The base should place his or her hands on the flyer's waist, while the flyer grabs hold of the base's wrists and places one foot on his or her thigh.
  3. The flyer presses up as the base lifts so that his or her second foot lands on the thigh.
  4. As the flyer lifts up to standing and leans forward, the base takes hold of his or her thighs and slowly leans back and squats down.

Since the amount of counterbalance will differ depending on the weight of the base and flyer, make sure to ease into this pose.

Reverse Thigh Stand Acro Yoga

Shin Mount Pose

The shin mount is a great way to practice maintaining stability and balance in your acro practice. For the base, it requires quad strength. For the flyer, it engages the inner thighs and glutes.

  1. The base should begin on his or her back, knees pulled tightly toward the torso, while the flyer stands just in front of their feet.
  2. The flyer must lean forward and clasp hands with the base, while placing his or her right foot on the base's right shin. The base's hands should be externally rotated for proper support, arms long.
  3. The flyer should carefully step his or her left foot onto the base's left shin, then slowly come up to standing.

If you feel comfortable in this basic shin mount, you can take it up a notch by changing positions so that the flyer's shins are on the base's feet.

  1. Have the base bend his or her knees till the thighs and shins are drawn tightly in again.
  2. The flyer leans over so they can clasp hands again.
  3. The flyer lifts his or her left leg, bending at the knee so the base can place his or her left foot on the flyer's shin.
  4. The base presses his or her legs to straight as the flyer lifts his or her right leg and places it on the base's left foot.
  5. The flyer can take hold of the base's feet until he or she feels stable enough to lift the torso to a kneeling up position.

If you're the flyer, make sure to squeeze your glutes and draw your belly in and up to keep from wobbling.

Have Fun With Acrobatic Yoga

Acrobatic yoga poses require core strength and stability to get into, which is what makes them so challenging. With these beginning poses, you can start building that strength through practice. What makes it really fun is that you get to work with a partner, who can support you in the process. If you truly want to deepen your acro practice, attend a formal class at a studio near you.

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Simple Acrobatic Yoga Poses for Beginners