Seeing two yogis execute an epic acro pose is pretty amazing, but landing one yourself is even better. Just ask Claudine and Honza of YogaBeyond (they’re such pros, they created ACROVINYASA, which brings the practice of yoga into the air, and regularly travel doing teacher trainings and retreats). Want to learn how to fly like them? Follow their tips below and try their three fundamental poses. Just make sure you have a base, flyer, and spotter!

What To Know

When starting out with acro, remember to be patient with yourself if you don’t nail the moves right away! Try every pose or transition at least three times before you get frustrated with what may have gone wrong. Remember what your first yoga class was like? Same thing applies here, but now you’re working with another person. Maintain an attitude of benevolent curiosity, work together and keep in mind that it’s supposed to be fun! This practice always makes us laugh, and we usually end up celebrating whenever we smooth out a transition and figure out something new. So, keep it fresh, light and high-spirited, and remember, if you’re having fun, you’re doing it right!

Front Bird Pose

BASE: Place feet parallel on flyer’s hip bones. Hands connected in RH2H grip (reverse hand to hand) with fingers pointing out and arms fully extended. Inhale together, on an exhale flyer leans forward keeping body tight and straight as base receive their weight with bent knees and elbows. Engage abdominals and extend arms to straight and legs to 90, stacking ankles over knees, over hips. When balanced and stable, release hands.

FLYER: Synchronize breath with base, keep body tight whilst engaging abdominals and back muscles. Keep lifting chest and hold shape. Connect hands with base in RH2H grip, arms extended stacking shoulders, elbows and wrists in one line. Lean forward on an exhale and take flight. Once balanced, release hands and find Locust pose.

SPOTTER: Stand alongside flyer in a sumo squat spotting stance. Place arms like a shelf all the way underneath flyer’s torso and thighs. Check for alignment, be the voice of communication, and bring base and flyer back into balance when necessary.

Bow Pose

BASE: From Front Bird, keep abdominals engaged and legs stacked at 90 with ankles over knees, over hips. Extend or relax ankles and toes in order to control the forward/backward tilt of flyer’s body. For extra spotting support extend arms skywards with palms open.

FLYER: From Front Bird, keep body tight whilst engaging abdominals and back muscles. Keep lifting the chest and hold shape. Once balanced, slowly reach back for one foot at a time. Reach for the outside ankles or for more stretch and opening across the front shoulders reach for the inside ankles. Kick feet back into hands, gaze upwards and smile. It’s important to hold shape, stay still and trust.

SPOTTER: Stand alongside flyer in a sumo squat spotting stance. Place arms like a shelf all the way underneath flyer’s torso and thighs. Check for alignment, be the voice of communication, and bring base and flyer back into balance when necessary.

Whale Pose

BASE: From Throne, Hold on to flyer’s ankles with thumbs facing inwards. Step feet one at a time onto flyer’s back with heels on flyer’s shoulder blades or just below for a deeper backbend. Extend arms and legs to straight, but not stacked at 90 depending on the length of flyer’s body. You can increase/decrease the backbend through the articulation of the ankles and toes. Move slowly as you work with your flyer’s spine.

FLYER: From Throne, cross arms across chest and start leaning back. Engage core, hip flexor and thigh muscles to lower onto base’s feet with control. Once stable, slowly extend arms over head and take a few deep breaths.

SPOTTER: Stand alongside flyer in a sumo squat stance. Place arms like a shelf all the way underneath flyer’s body with one hand under lower back and the other under flyer’s head. Check for alignment, be the voice of communication, and bring base and flyer back into balance when necessary.

Want to learn more acro? Head to YogaBeyond’s ACROVINYASA Insta.