Actress Nikki Reed recently joined the Instagram phenomenon that is #acroyoga (the hashtag has over 800,000 pics).
The "Twilight" star fell in love with the practice last spring, writing on Instagram in May, "I just love acro yoga. I'm so drawn to it."
Since then, the star, who practices alongside her brother, Nathan, has regularly posted pics of her progress, including impressive shots that were taken shortly after the delivery of her daughter, Bodhi Soleil, with actor Ian Somerhalder.
"I'm going to say this now: I'm determined to become the most badass brother-sister acro yoga duo on the planet," she captioned one photo.
So what exactly is AcroYoga? It's a combination of partner yoga, acrobatics, and Thai massage, and it's one heck of a workout. If you're interested in contorting your body in bold and strong ways, here are some reasons why you might want to give it a shot.
It Makes You More Present
You might drift off during your downward facing dog solo, but throw a partner into the flow? Your commitment to staying present is nothing short of necessary. Your partner’s safety, as well as your own, depends on your ability and willingness to concentrate and remain in the present moment. By staying mindful you'll reduce the risk of injury, while enhanced concentration is known to ease the mind from worry and relieve stress.
It Helps Builds Relationships
In acroyoga, there are usually two roles: the flyer and the base. The base lies on her back, holding up the flyer who moves through various positions in the air, grabbing the base's hands, and relying on their legs, for support. It's not surprising then that this type of yoga fosters a deep level of trust between you and your partner. Being able to connect intuitively, such as reading each other’s physical, verbal, and visual cues without much discussion, is also common in acroyoga, which will only strengthen a relationship -- in more ways than one.
It Really Works Your Core
By utilizing your body in all planes of motion in order to keep your balance, acroyoga requires you to really stabilize your core whether you're the base or flyer. At the base? You'll fire up your abs by keeping your lower back pressed firmly into the floor. If you're flying, be prepared to have your entire core work in order to give you the stability to get into and maintain poses in the air.
It Helps Make You Stronger
Yoga is already known to be an amazing strengthening workout. Add a partner into the routine, and your workout just went to a different level as you're training with a lot of bodyweight exercises, times two. As a flyer, you'll be doing a lot exercises similar to planks, L-sits, and handstands, working your shoulders, core, biceps, and legs. When at the base, you'll be doing a lot of overhead and leg pressing, creating a full-body workout.
It Teaches You to Make Fast Decisions
Working with time, gravity, and another person will help you make some pretty fast decisions because anything can happen when a body shifts through the air, knocking you off your center. You'll learn to adapt to changes quickly, while maintaining your sense of control and peace of mind -- a habit that can work both on and off the mat.
Acroyoga is a rigorous workout that keeps you fit and flexible, while promoting a sense of fun and connection. Who knows? After a few sessions, you might even want to join Cirque du Soleil. Or at least be as talented as Reed.
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