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TeamworkIt never ceases to amaze me in Acro how often I come across comments like 'I did this' or 'Idid that' or 'what did I do wrong?'. Certainly the more body wisdom you have, the more you can bring to the party, and the greater ther possibilities of what your Team might achieve. However, it is very important to remember that it is 'We did this' or 'We did that' or 'what did We do wrong?' We need remember that there is more than one mind feeding into the trick. This is the beauty of Acro. Often times the error comes from one of the following: Our timing was out of sync One team member is trying to do everything, or some of the other team members job When we try and do a thing, it can often take a few attempts. To help your team achieve this challenge consider trying to do some of the following. One member will try and do the same thing again, giving the other member the opportunity to make an adjustment. Keep talking to a minimum, or you loose the kinesthetic magic! 'Have another try, I will stay/do the same as last time' If you can fight the fear and hold your shape just a litte longer, it may give your partner the time to save the trick. As a Flyer I have often felt the smallest moment of doubt, and that was enough to kill the trick Consider re-inforcing the flyers commitment with 'Stay' or 'I've got you'
Smaller people go on top!If you are new to AcroYoga, this is a good rule to abide by. A bigger person does not have to work as hard to lift a small person, and this extra power can be useful while learning. It is useful to think of it like partner dancing. The traditional roles would be for the man to lead and the woman to follow, here for the bigger person(s) to Base & Spot, and the smaller person(s) to fly. Once you know the tricks and what is involved, it can be fun to turn it upside down and make it more challenging. Be mindful, as this increases everyone involved's risk of getting injured.
Down - The Magic WordIf a trick is going wrong, it is important to communicate this very quickly. Say 'Down' clearly so that your team hear it. Everyone should help the flyer(s) to the floor safely and efficiently. Once back on the ground we can work out what went wrong, and try again. Beware: If you are working with German speakers, that they may say 'Ab' which can sound like 'Up' and means Off, Over, Out of play, or something similar.
SpottingWhen you 'Spot' a trick or a sequence, you are committing to: Be present and focused on the group & movements you are working with. Bring the flyer down to the floor safely, if the trick goes wrong Help communication between Base & Flyer Help refine movements Things you should be aware of: Your most active involvement is when the trick is going wrong, so ask the following questions first. If the answer to any of these questions is No, then don't do it. Do you feel strong enough to handle the flyer? Do you understand what is going to be attempted? Are you focused? Are you aware that you could get hurt/injured spotting the trick? Do you understand that someone else could get hurt/injured if you spot the trick badly? Are you happy to spot this trick? with this base and this flyer? in this environment? If you wish to stop spotting Communicate this clearly with your group Offer assistance for them to come down to the floor (if necessary) Spotting takes time to learn too. It is good practice to learn to follow the movements of a similar trick that the team can already achieve. This way You build an idea of the abilities of the Team The movements you need to be warm for Possibilities of how the trick might go wrong.
FlyingWhen you 'Fly' a trick or a sequence, you are committing to: Put your trust in the Base & the Spotter Hold your shape or make your movements to the best of your ability In spite of fear An unstable surface Things you should be aware of: Once you are off the floor you have committed. If the answer to any of these questions is No, then don't do it. Have the Base (and Spotter) answered Yes to thier questions? Do you understand what is going to be attempted? Are you focused? Are you aware that you could get hurt/injured spotting the trick? Have you ensured that the necessary safety is in place? Are you happy to Fly this trick? with this base (and this spotter)? in this environment? Big Flyers If you are Bigger than your Base or Bigger than your Spotter happy with your Risk Assessment and still wish to fly the trick Please check that they are aware of the risks and have answered Yes to their list of questions. Beware of the Bases Ego Particularly if you are a small Flyer and/or talented flyer, lots of bases will want to fly you as they are more likely to have success with the trick.
BasingBasing has many challenges and lots of responsibility. L-Basing requires a certain level of flexibility, and while it is also a great way to open the body, this can be hard work and frustrating until we get there. Standing Bases need to find the strength and stability through their spines. You need to reach down into the floor, as well as upwards to support the flyer. If the trick is failing, you must learn when to fight to keep supporting the flyer and when to let go so that the flyer can save themselves. In the process of learning you must still keep the Flyer safe from harm. When you 'Base' a trick or a sequence, your Flyer is committing their safety to you: Safety is more important than getting a trick It is easier to base someone who is smaller than you. If you push yourself to your limit you are likely to get hurt. Its a good idea to practice balencing objects on your feet. they don't get hurt when you drop them! They don't react unpredictably and 'try to help' If you can base an object, it is all your skill/technique. Building the strength by lifting weights can also benefit your basing practice. Flexibility too. Things you should be aware of: The trick starts before the flyer leaves the floor and doesnt finish until they are grounded and steady on their own feet. If the answer to any of these questions is No, then don't do it. Have the Flyer (and Spotter) answered Yes to thier questions? Do you understand what is going to be attempted? Are you focused? Are you aware that you could get hurt/injured performing the trick? Have you ensured that the necessary safety is in place? Are you happy to Base this trick? with this Flyer (and this spotter)? in this environment? If the Flyer wants a spotter, the Flyer must have a spotter.
It is not a deal unless...My dad always said "It is not a deal unless you can take it or leave it" It is really important that everyone plays on their own terms and no-one is forced into doing anything they do not want to do. You do not have to do anything you are uncomfortable with. It is very important to voice your concerns. If you do not, someone may get hurt. It is always fine ask for additional support whether you are a Base, Flyer, Spotter or Passer-by If there is any part of you that feels coerced into trying something you are not cofortable with, it is not a Deal. In which case walk away.
Glasses & JewelryGLASSES I am short sighted and wear glasses. I have had many pairs broken by being knocked off my face. Luckily I have managed to avoid serious injuries where someone has fallen and pushed glasses into my face. Contact lenses are better, and sometimes I "go blind"... For my level of shortsightedness, I can focus and see my partner, and distractions of what else is going on in the room is reduced. JEWELRY Hard objects are unlikely to help your acro practice, and may cut or bruise yourself or the people you are working with, so if this is easily removed it is better to do so. Dangly objects can be caught and may get broken; or they may cause a distraction while you are in a tricky and confusing scenario, so again better to take it off if possible.
Safety in AcroAccidents can always happen, even to experienced professionals. There is risk in what we do, and working out how to deal with that risk and keep it manageable is a lot of fun so long as we do not go too far. I have written a fairly in depth blog post on Safety in Acro, but the subject goes much further than that. If you have any questions about this do not hesitate to get in touch.
Covid & AcroYogaCovid has been challenging for the AcroYoga world. Please do a lateral flow test before attending classes if possible, and do not attend if you are covid positive or if you have symptoms. You are welcome to come as a smal group and work in your own acro bubble if you prefer to. You are also welcome wear a mask while training, and we will bring hand sanitiser to all our events. However, please be aware that AcroYoga does involve physical contact. While it is not possible to do acro outside of a bubble with stronger restrictions in place, AcroYoga does give us so much in the way of friendly, playful, supportive and non-sexual physical contact. This is so important for our mental and emotional wellbeing.
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