Acro Yoga: Do It Solo or Grab a Partner and Pose

Couple practicing acro yoga in white studio. Acro yoga concept. Pair yoga. Yoga flexibility class workout

You’ve seen the beautiful poses and shapes acro yogis make with their bodies. You may wonder how they do it, or even tell yourself there’s no way you could do that. This article is here to break down some of the most popular, intricate, but actually, quite doable acro yoga poses for partners and solos.

Whether you’ve never tried acro yoga or you’re looking to add another person to the mix, the poses included in this article can be done by any level yogi. This exercise can help with many health conditions including:

To get the most out of acro yoga — and avoid injury — there are a few topics to cover before diving into the poses!

First, it’s important to understand how and why to warm up. You will next learn about the correct equipment and clothing to acquire, which is just one of the topics that will help you stay safe. Finally, this article will dive into the best acro yoga poses for partners and solos so that you’re equipped with the motivation and excitement to get started!

How Do I Stay Safe Doing Acro Yoga?

Acro yoga is an amazing practice to watch and display your actions. However, these beautiful poses can (sometimes) cause pain or injury if not correctly executed. Safety is an important part of acro yoga. Making sure to follow a few rules can keep you and your partner safe.

It is easy to get sweaty when you are both nervous and exercising. Make sure your skin is dry, so you won’t slip around. Stretching –part of warming up, discussed below — is also beneficial for making sure your muscles can handle the movement and pressure required. And communication is key in acro yoga. Ensure you’re talking with your partner and confirming what you both need.  

A couple performs acroyoga in a grassy field with sunrise

Warm Ups

Going straight into physical activity, exercise, or stretching can lead to injury. If the muscles are at rest, they’re “cold,” and when muscles are cold, they need more energy to warm up. This extra energy expenditure can cause the muscles to become strained because they have to work harder. Strains decrease the effectiveness and frequency of training.

Warming up can be done in many ways. The goal of raising the temperature in your body is to increase the heart rate, breathing rate, and body temperature. This prepares your muscles for the exercise or activity to come.

When warming up, you want to perform easy movements that stretch and work your muscles while in motion. Rather than standing and leaning over to touch your toes, try walking toe touches. Take a step forward and rest only the heel of one foot on the ground. Lean over and touch the toes of the foot pointing in the air. Raise back up and take a step with the other foot. Repeat this movement for 5 – 10 repetitions on each side.

Warming up also involves increasing heart and breathing rates. This rise in circulation moves oxygen throughout the body, giving your muscles more of what they need to operate at their best capacity. The more love your muscles get before the workout, the more strength and better performance they will give you. Jumping rope, jogging in place, or high knees can be great ways to increase heart rate and breathing.

What Equipment is Required for Acro Yoga?

No equipment is required for completing acro yoga. However, there are some important tools that new and beginning yogis can use to elevate their yoga game.

Yoga Mat

Yoga mats are thin pads used to protect yogis from the ground when doing yoga. You can purchase a mat online and in many physical stores. They come in various thicknesses, patterns, and colors. Some yogis like thinner mats because of their higher stability while others like thicker mats because of the safety and cushion.

It’s highly recommended that you use a mat for at least the first few acro yoga sessions. This helps your joints and body get used to moving against a hard surface. It also provides safety in case you fall out of a pose.

Water Bottle

Although acro yoga is not necessarily a high sweat-inducing workout, you will typically build up a sweat when holding and performing certain poses. Having a water bottle keeps you hydrated.

Acro yoga combines massage, movement, and acrobatics. This combination may lead some people to get dizzy while performing certain poses. Having water nearby can be useful if you need a drink to regain stability or even splash some on your face.

Two fit women perform yoga hold on pink mat

Yoga Block

A yoga block, typically made of a firm but soft material like foam, is used in various yoga poses. Yoga blocks can increase the effectiveness of your exercise as they help to align your body so that you are completing poses correctly and safely.

Yoga blocks can be used for ensuring correct alignment by supporting your range of motion, providing support for various body parts, engaging the correct muscles, and improving performance for those who are injured, limited, or disabled.


When doing acro yoga, it is important to wear fitted clothing. Men may go without shirts and women may wear just a sports bra. Having clothing that’s too loose can distract you or your partner, get in the way, and prevent you from properly doing moves.


As with the tops, bottoms should fit close to the body. Bottoms should not be too baggy; however, they should allow for a large range of motion. If the leggings or shorts are too tight, they may limit your range of motion which can lead to injury or ineffective poses. You should make sure your bottoms will cover you completely, as you may be held in certain positions and risk exposing yourself if your shorts slide down or fall.

Let’s Get Beautiful

Now is the exciting part! These poses are beautiful and are sure to make you feel special when you accomplish them. They will improve your confidence and self-esteem, and make you feel powerful! Here are some acro yoga solo stances and partner poses.

Woman does yoga pose in open field

Solo Acro Yoga Poses for Flyers

Many acro yoga poses can be done alone. Whether you’re a base or a flyer, this list provides you with some solo poses to practice.

1.     Bosu Ball Stands

This pose is solo but requires a Bosu ball. A Bosu ball is a half ball that is used to improve balance (pictured below). When performing this pose, you’ll be practicing what it is like when balancing on your human base. This acro-style stand works the muscles around the bottom of the calves and the top of the ankles to increase their strength. Improving strength in these areas will make acro yoga easier for you.

To start, lay the Bosu ball on the flat of the floor with the ball side up. Place your right foot in the middle of the ball and step up, bringing your left knee up and straight out with your hip. Pause and balance for five seconds, or longer if you’d like, then step back onto the ground. Repeat with the other leg.

2.     Floating Tuck and Table

This pose is a great way to strengthen all muscles in your body — especially the core. Your core includes all the muscles used to move the body. These muscles support balance and stability, which will help you become a better acro yogi.

When performing a floating tuck and table, you will need two sturdy objects that come up to about your waist. These objects often look like large wooden blocks or tables found at some gyms.

To perform the floating tuck and table, you will use these boxes or objects by placing them on both sides of you. Lay your hand palm upon the surface or grip the edge; make sure these objects won’t flip when you put weight on them. While keeping your head and chest forward, raise your knees to your stomach. You can stop here and lower back to the ground, or if you want to progress into the table, push yourself into an extension of this pose to make it a little more challenging.

To move into a table pose, extend your tucked knees, and stretch them straight in front of you, making your body into an “L” shape. Hold the “L” or table pose firmly before carefully lowering your feet back to the ground.

3.     Shoulder Stand

The shoulder stand is a fun solo acro yoga pose that requires two sturdy objects (similar to the boxes used for the floating tuck and table). The shoulder stand pose looks just like it sounds, and requires you to stand on your shoulders rather than your head or hands. In this case, you will balance your shoulders on the boxes and leave room for your head to drop between them. Use your palms to keep you steady and take some of the pressure off your shoulders. Squeeze your shoulder blades while you’re in the stand to help to support your head.

When lifting your legs off the floor, it is best to start with bent knees. Bringing your knees to your chest first can help you to find balance before straightening your legs above your head. Beginners will find it helpful to come out of this pose by bending their knees to the chest before getting their feet back on the ground. For a more challenging pose, yogis can complete the shoulder stand with straight or piked legs to move in and out of the shoulder stand pose.

Man performs a yoga pose on a white mat and wooden floor

Solo Acro Yoga Poses for Bases

These poses will help strengthen the muscles commonly used as a base.

1.     Side Plank

A side plank strengthens the core and side muscles. This pose can be used to practice acro yoga by strengthening the muscles the base uses to hold themself up when supporting a flyer.  

To perform a side plank, get into a push-up position on your palms or forearms. Keeping one hand — or forearm — steady on the ground, take your opposite hand and reach for the ceiling while twisting your torso to face the wall instead of the floor. Hold for 10 – 60 seconds, then return to the push-up position. Repeat on the other side.

2.     Handstands

Doing a slow, controlled handstand is a great way to prepare for acro yoga. Doing handstands readies your body by using muscles that support stability.

When trying a handstand for the first time, it can be a good idea to get a spotter or use a wall to catch your feet and help improve your balance. When practicing handstands, take one step forward and raise your arms in the air. Then, step forward and raise one leg behind you. Make sure your palms are flat on the ground and use the momentum to pull your other leg in the air. Focus on standing straight up. Squeeze your core to improve stability. Hold this pose for 10 – 60 seconds.

3.     Reclined Big Toe Pulls

Bases spend a lot of time laying on their backs with their legs and feet in the air, supporting their flyers. Reclined big toe pulls require hamstring strength and flexibility to avoid injury and be a more effective base.

To complete a reclined big toe pull, lay flat on your back. Raise one foot straight in the air so it’s in line with your hip. Hold your hamstring, or the back of your thigh, and pull your leg towards your core. Pull until you feel a gentle stretch and hold for 10 – 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Partners do acro yoga on a mat

Acro Yoga Poses for Partners

Once you’re ready to add another person into the mix, find a reliable friend, spouse, or family member and try out some of these fun partner poses. You will start with some of the simpler ones and then move into the more advanced poses.

1.     Ankle Hold Plank

This pose is a great beginner pose and improves the trust and communication between partners. For this pose, the base will lay flat on their back before grabbing the flyer’s ankles. Then, the flyer will grab the base’s ankles. The flyer will hold the ankles of the base and lift the feet up and over the chest of the base so the base can hold the flyer’s ankles.

2.     Floating Plank

A floating plank is a great way to work your way into acro yoga. A floating plank is a pose that starts with the base on their back with their heels over their hips in the air in an “L” shape. The flyer steps forward towards the base, resting their toes close to the glutes of the base. The base places their feet on the hip bones of the flyer. The flyer and base will grab hands and the flyer will lean forward into the base’s feet. The base will then push the flyer up into the air. Both yogis keep their arms straight.

3.     High-Flying Whale

This is a fun pose that’s great for stretching the upper spine of the flyer and strengthening the legs and core of the base. To perform this pose, the base needs to use more of their balancing skills.

To start the high-flying whale, the flyer will stand near the base’s head, facing away, with the backs of the heels resting against the base’s shoulder. The base will lift their legs and feet toward the flyer and grab the flyer’s ankles.

The flyer will lean back onto the base’s feet, reaching for the base’s ankles. The base’s heels should be around the shoulder blades of the flyer. The base will lift the flyer into the air as they lean back against the base. The flyer’s arms should go out straight in a “T” shape. The back should be at a comfortable but deep stretch. When the lift is over, gently lower the flyer back to the ground.

4.     Folded Leaf Pose

This pose is fun and makes some people giggle. In the folded leaf pose, the base will lay on the ground and place their feet in a “V” shape on the hip bones of the flyer. The flyer will hold the hands of the base and lean forward, pushing the flyer into the air like Superman.

Then, the flyer leans forward and lets their hands rest on each side of the base. The base lowers their arms to the ground to steady the flyer. The flyer should feel a deep, relaxed stretch in their hips and lower back.

Couple performs acroyoga pose with man as base and woman as flyer

Closing Thoughts

Acro yoga can be intimidating at first because you’re interacting with people in ways you never have before. The mixture of acrobatics with yoga also increases the chance of injury. However, acro yoga is an amazing way to express yourself, release some tension, and have fun in the process! The beautiful partner and solos poses in this article will unlock potential you didn’t know you had! Stay excited and “breathe deeply – you will be flying before you know it!” Acro yoga Teacher, Deven Sisler, from Wanderlust 2015.

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