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5 AcroYoga Poses for a Stronger Relationship

Meredith DeCosta
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Trust is at the core of every relationship. Relationships built on trust are empowered and empowering. Without trust, unhealthy emotional patterns work their way to the surface and cause conflict.

How can two people build a trusting relationship? How can a couple restore trust that’s been lost? One Yogi Approved way to do this is acroyoga.

The word “acro” stems from the Greek root “high,” and “yoga” means “union” in Sanskrit. Combined, acroyoga bridges the high flying of acrobatics with the wisdom and harmony of yoga. Acroyoga requires at least two people, the “flyer” and the “base,” and sometimes a third, known as a “spotter,” for trickier poses.

To feel acroyoga in its most exalted expression, partners have to trust one another, having faith that the base has the strength to hold the flyer while the flyer carefully follows the base’s words and cues.

My partner and I first spent quality time together at acroyoga meet-ups in the park. This allowed us to establish honesty and communication with each other early in the relationship.

While acroyoga may seem like it’s only for the daring at heart, there are plenty of accessible poses for beginners that help build trust:
1. Folded Leaf: The base and the flyer grip hand-to-hand without interlacing fingers (this is important because the proper grip will prevent injury). The base places his or her feet at an angle – heels in, toes out – in the hip creases of the flyer. The base bends the knees and receives the weight of the flyer, coming into a bone-stacked position with feet stacked on knees or hips. The flyer’s legs separate into a piked straddle, arms relaxing by the sides of the base.

Folded Leaf
2. Super Yogi: From folded leaf, the base will grab the flyer’s wrists as the flyer extends or interlaces fingers. The base will exhale and press his or her legs away while pulling the wrists and arms of the flyer forward. The base inhales the legs back to stacked position and repeats.

3. Front Bird: With parallel feet, the base places the flyer’s hipbones in the arches of the feet. The flyer’s toes will rest on the stomach and heels on the top of the thigh. The base will bend the knees and receive the weight of the flyer. The flyer will lift the torso, engage the back, core, and legs, and gaze forward – like a plank. The base and flyer can keep the hand-to-hand grip with two sets of straight arms or the flyer can release the arms to the side of the body with palms face down.


4. Back Leaf: The flyer stands at the hips of the base facing away and then reaches for the ankles of the base. The base angles the feet out, placing the arches along the flyer’s glute crease. The flyer bends knees and leans back while the base bends knees to receive the flyer’s weight, placing hands on the upper shoulders of the flyer. The base then extends the legs while the flyer relaxes legs and arms. The flyer should be prepared for a juicy and deep backbend!

back leaf
5. Jedi Plank: The base lies on his or her back. The flyer gets into a plank position with feet outside the shoulders of the base and hands next to or on the shins of the base. The base picks up the legs of the flyer at the ankle and lifts until arms are straight. If the pair is feeling strong, the base can do a sit up while the flyer lifts the hips high into the air creating a Jedi Box.


Coming out of poses safely is essential and a key part of the trust-building process. The base should bend his or her knees while slowly lowering the flyer to the ground. The flyer should patiently await the ground below.

Acroyoga has the potential to transform relationships. It ignites playfulness between two people, builds ahimsa (love) and satya (truth), and can set the foundation for a lifetime of trust.

Want to explore trust on a deeper level? Try one (or all) of these acroyoga poses. Take a photo and then share them with us on Instagram with #yogiapproved!

Helpful hint: A spotter is necessary and helpful for new acroyogis. When in doubt, use a spotter. It never hurts to fly in the sky a little more safely!

Recommended read: 3 Absolutely Beautiful AcroYoga Videos

This article has been read 10K+ times. Bada bing!


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Meredith DeCosta

Meredith DeCosta, PhD, RYT is an academic by day, yogi for life. She is a university teacher, researcher, and writer. When she's not at the university, she is practicing or teaching yoga, specializing in vinyasa flow and power classes. Meredith playfully blends a deep knowledge of asana with an infectious energy that encourages her students to feel lighter and brighter. Join her tribe of positivity.

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