Navigate Gravity Like a Boss: Self-Spotting Tips for AcroYoga Flyers

AcroYoga without a spotter. Cardinal sin or unavoidable fact?

Flyers, let’s be honest here– it’s hard enough to find one person to play with, let alone an additional one whom you trust enough to spot all the higher-level / harder / more dangerous tricks.

Falling is an inevitable part of learning to fly. Gravity always wins. Knowing this, you can learn to navigate gravity LIKE A BOSS to increase your chances of survival when things run off the rails.

KNOW YOUR BASE. Read this as “BE PARANOID”. Just because they are big and very good at throwing the same small person around does not mean they can or will be able to do that with others. My biggest injury came from trusting size over technique. Spend time getting to know your partner, especially if they are lifting your feet off (and spinal column) the ground. Falling doesn’t hurt… it’s the crash that does.

CALIBRATE & LAYER. A machine is only as strong as the communication between it’s individual parts. Every partner move has a solo counterpart exploring the individual’s form and role. Each flying pose has a grounded precursor. All those fun washing machines are essentially looped series of transitions, tying together individual shapes which should all be first flown by themselves with total accuracy.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY. Quality of stillness over quantity of movement. Take care of the practice, and the practice will take care of you. Think sharp clarity instead of fuzzy focus.

SPEED IS EASY. SLOW IS SKILLFUL. There are times where momentum is needed, even necessary (ex. pops & whips). Don’t equate speed with talent. 99% of the time, going fast means rushed connections and sloppy form. Being able to stop the flow at any moment means both partners know what the heck is happening at all times, which means you’ll always know where the exit is.

KNOW THY SELF. Since the flyer is the one that typically falls, do you fully understand the severity of what you’re about to do? Sincerely answer every one of the following questions:

Do you have a clear picture of what you & your base are trying to create?
Do you know how to get your feet on the ground at any time?
Where is your head throughout the whole movement, and are you able to protect it?
Have you flown this before?
Have you flown the easier version? Do you even know what it is?
Do you trust your base?
DO YOU TRUST YOUR SELF?
Will this work?

If you have answered NO at any time (especially that last one), strongly consider having someone else come over and create safe space. Even if every answer was a YES, remember that accidents are never planned. Be prepared at all times for everything to happen.

Fly Safe!