Liz and Max aren’t your average couple. It’s a yoga-partner turned acro yoga-partner turned romantic-partner story that will get you asking your boyfriend or girlfriend to fly you in the park one Sunday afternoon. When I asked the couple to introduce themselves, Liz introduced Max and Max introduced Liz. Um…adorable. They train together, they travel together, they teach together, and they even Instagram together (@maxandlizacro). They’re dietitians, vegans, and incredibly talented yogis. And they’re on a mission to spread the love of acro yoga.
While many of us are just hearing about acro yoga for the first time, it didn’t just pop up over night. It’s been around since the late 1930’s. But currently it’s gaining a lot more popularity and momentum. So what’s the big deal about acro? While Max and Liz’s story may be exceptional, it’s not uncommon for yogis who practice acro yoga together to tap into a bond unlike any they’ve experienced before. As Max and Liz explain, acro yoga fills needs and creates space that perhaps your traditional individual yoga practice doesn’t. Here’s why:
1. The Power of Play
When’s the last time you did something because it was just straight-up fun? Play is a super powerful experience that often gets overlooked in the hustle and bustle of adulthood. On top of being an automatic stress reliever, it adds joy to life, helps you connect with others, and can bring more productivity into every day tasks through the power of positive living.
2. The Power of Trust
Acro yoga involves two or more people. And it generally involves lifting, bending, holding, and working together. There’s a lot of trust that is needed to do a basic acro pose. In today’s society we don’t often think about increasing our trust in others. In fact, we’re taught to be more careful and even fear others. But living with little to no trust in others is extremely stressful and pessimistic and effects our relationship with the entire outside world. Learning to trust in others is a beautiful concept that will develop one of the greatest assets we all want in life - peace of mind.
3. The Power of Connection
As Max described, when you practice acro yoga you have a direct mirror. Unlike an individual yoga practice, you have a partner who is physically connected to you, watching you, and trusting in you. If you’re out of alignment your partner is there to tell you. You feed off of each other’s energy in an immediate way and your communication is key. Liz explained that you have to say what you want to get what you need. Imagine what life would be like if we all had that type of awareness about ourselves and those around us. Imagine how that would affect your personal and romantic relationships. This type of communication and connection is practiced at every acro yoga jam (which is what they call a group of yogis getting together to practice acro yoga… did we mention how much fun it is?!).
4. The Power of Touch
We’re all together on this earth but we rarely physically touch. In crowded public spaces we weave in and out of bodies making sure to keep to ourselves. A quick Google search told me that on average we are in contact with our phones close to 100 times a day. When I searched for how many people we touch in a day, I got no results. I’m guessing that number is less than five. However, there are articles upon articles on the power of touch. Have you ever seen a football player smack his teammate on the butt and wonder why? It’s the power of touch! Touch is a powerful nonverbal form of communication. And it’s efficient! Instead of stopping at each play to explain why a player is happy about the other player’s performance, a simple pat does the trick. Touch is part of an emotional support system that goes far beyond romance, yet we use it sparingly.
5. The Power to Heal
Both Max and Liz explained that acro yoga is an incredible source for space to heal. When you break down self- or societally-imposed barriers, you create a space where you can be vulnerable and learn. Play, trust, connection, and touch are all pieces of the puzzle that leads to self-awareness, healing, and growth. While acro yoga may be more known for its impressive physical beauty, it’s a powerful practice that works wonders on the inside too.
Quick acro yoga myth debunked:
Q: Who can do acro yoga?
Max and Liz answer: Anyone! It doesn’t matter how fit or how old, or what your physique is; anyone can enjoy the benefits of acro yoga. We’ve had fliers that were 6’7” and practitioners in their sixties participate in our classes. The only barriers to entry are those that you’ve created in your mind. Drop them and give it a try!
You can find out more about Max and Liz and their schedule of events at maxandlizacro.com.