Acro Yoga: A Retreat for your Body and Mind

Pranamaya, the name already portrays love, and what Pranamaya actually means is the system of movement within our own body where Prana is the essence of life and Maya is love. The studio has been inspiring yoga practices since 2009. The mission of Pranamaya is to create a haven in the city of Kathmandu for the practice of yoga.

Text by: Shreeti Pandey

Pranamaya aims to provide a space to professional yoga teachers for teaching different styles of yoga. The studio has always been busy and active with an international community of yoga teachers. It is also encouraging more Nepali yoga practitioners to practice international yoga styles, as it is a blissful place for yogis and yoginis. When we think of yoga, we definitely create a picture of a person teaching postures, pranayama, and meditation, but Pranamaya is here to guide you into more different styles of yoga, and one of them is Acro Yoga. It's a completely new approach to yoga practice, and to know more about it, Friday had a conversation with Pranamaya's studio manager, Willemjin Gnirrep, along with instructors Hiroko Aikawa and Lisa Mikosch.

Acro Yoga is not very devotional or religious; it's more about asanas and the yoga philosophy. Acro Yoga is mostly about asana practice, including breathing techniques, and every style of this yoga has a different story. It's more like a food for your mind and a combination of movement, storytelling, and breathing. It has vast definitions, as it also introduces a very therapeutic part, which is very active. The yoga also includes thigh massage and therapeutic flying, which is very relaxing to your body and mind. What makes Acro Yoga more special is the trust, balance, communication, and bonding between the partners. Your body can do wonderful things when you trust people and learn to let go. It magically works through your mind, building faith upon the person who is carrying you. Well, it will surely give confidence that you can depend upon your partner without any fear.

Acro Yoga has infinite styles, and yes, it does seem like we need some flexibility and yoga background to carry on with the styles, but what excited me even more was that it's completely safe for beginners as much as for professionals. It's more of fun and playing, where the trainers will literally fly you. So, no worries if your body is stiff, because Acro Yoga is simply about letting go of yourself. In a class of Acro Yoga, you learn the styles by playing with everyone in the room, so you get to learn to cope with different minds and body shapes. One yoga style consists of three people: the base, flyer, and a spotter. The base is a person who lies on the floor and carries the flyer on their feet, and the spotter is the one who stands by them for safety.

Acro Yoga gives a totally different feel to those who have never experienced flying before. Letting another person fly you develops so much courage in you by building your trust on another person's strength. It's also about overcoming your fear, gaining inner strength, and being more comfortable with your body.