What is AcroYoga and 3 AcroYoga Poses Parents Can Do Safely with Kids

Published on Jun 08, 2020

Parents, are you looking for a way to get your children into Yoga but not sure how to get your active child interested in the exercise? AcroYoga may just be what you're looking for.

What is Acroyoga?

Acroyoga is actually a mix of two words: Acrobatics and Yoga. It sounds intimidating but really, Acroyoga is a form of Partner Yoga that brings in the playful influences of acrobatics into Yoga. While you can go for really advanced moves like what Jiamin does at @jyanyoga

AcroYoga can also be tailored for those who are less experienced too.

Acro Yoga Pose for Parents and Kids

In most AcroYoga poses, the parent acts as the Base and the child, the Flyer.

Supported by the Base, the Flyer get into various positions that require them to let go of their fears and helps boost their confidence from "Flying". This promotes greater trust between the parent and the child, and by teaching them that hard work pays off when they start to learn more complicated moves.

Benefits of AcroYoga

AcroYoga is the perfect exercise for the active child as you don't even have to cajole them to get started. The physical activity and the resulting intimacy will get them all excited to begin... all while making sure that BOTH of you gain core strength, flexibility and kinesthetic awareness at the same time.

In order to hold AcroYoga poses or move through the combinations, it is necessary to move fluidly from one "tight" stabilized core neutral position to the next. From the Base Perspective, it can feel like you're doing bench press, overhead press or leg press (depending on the pose), except that you have an added challenge of doing it with your child, making your center of gravity move about as they get into a different position. From the Flyer's Perspective, it's as if they're doing handstands, Planks and L-sits from different angles that require them to train their strength and flexibility. As AcroYoga is about constant changes in movement, both the Base and the Flyer are forced to be more sensitive about where your body is and how you're moving. Is your joint alignment, body shape or position comfortable? How do you control your centre of gravity? How do you react when something feels wrong? This also cultivates stronger communication, as your child would have to verbalise if they are feeling alright or some adjustments have to be made. 

If you're keen to give it a go, you can sign up for AcroYoga classes at yoga studios like @jyanyoga. If you are not sure if you and your child are up for it, you can consider trying these beginner AcroYoga poses back at home. We've categorised the poses under 'on your back', 'on your bum', 'on your feet' and 'on your hands' so you can see what strength/skill level suits you and your child best. We also had Agent G try out the poses with her young Agent A, and we've included her thoughts on each pose!

On Your Back

Acro Front Plank + Presses

Acro Front Plank + Presses Yoga Pose for Parents and Kids
Acro Front Plank + Presses Yoga Pose for Parents and Kids

Photo: Yang Jiamin (@jyanyoga)

Why: Your child will love being carried, as though they are flying!

How: Lie down on the mat and place your feet onto your child's belly. Hold on to their hands. Start bending your knees into your chest, then extend your legs up towards the sky. You may also add a little fun by lowering your knees towards your chest to give your little one a kiss!

Make sure you don’t straighten your legs all the ways, otherwise your kid might fall over.- Yang Jiamin (@jyanyoga)

Agent G: This is Agent A's favourite pose! He would request to go "flying" almost every night, making it a nice end-of-the-day workout that doubles as bonding time for the both of us!

On Your Bum

Boat Pose

Acro Yoga Boat Pose for Parents and Kids

Photo: Yang Jiamin (@jyanyoga)

Why: Add a little weight to challenge your core!

How: Sit with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground. Invite your child to rest their weight onto your shins as they hug your knees. Start leaning back to lift your legs off the ground and keep your core engaged.

Grab onto your calves for extra support if you need to. - Yang Jiamin (@jyanyoga)

Agent G: I find that Agent A has grown to be more calm the more we did this pose. He now understands that the less he fidgets, the more comfortable it would be for him. A great pose to teach your child about remaining calm!

On your hands

Crow Pose

Acro Yoga Crow Pose for Parents and Kids

Photo: Yang Jiamin (@jyanyoga)

Why: Challenge your arm balance and builds trust with your child!

How: Piggy-back your child, making sure they're holding on tight and have them squeeze their legs towards your torso. Place your palms down shoulder-width apart with your knees on your triceps. Start leaning forward and keep your gaze forward. Actively push away from the mat as you float one leg off at a time. 

Make sure you have a solid crow in your practice. Lift your head up to prevent your kid from falling over as you lean your weight forward.- Yang Jiamin (@jyanyoga)

Agent G: I'm still having difficulty with this pose so try it only when you're really good with the crow! Do have a spotter around to make sure that your child has some support even when you have problems holding the pose.

If you would like to include a healthy hobby while strengthening the bond with your children, try out AcroYoga!

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