Bend into AcroYoga

Maggie Berrier
Maggie Berrier holds a difficult position on a bridge near the water of Mt. Shasta with help from her fellow AcroYoga friends. Photo courtesy of Maggie Berrier.

Last fall Sara McGuire, Chico State junior, went to Lower Bidwell with her friends. She was playfully doing hand stands when she was approached by the Chico State Acrobatics Club.

The club explained that they were an organization that met weekly to work on an art form they were passionate about— AcroYoga. AcroYoga is a combination of yoga and acrobatics. When combined, this activity creates an experience that expands physical and spiritual boundaries, McGuire said.

After being approached, McGuire immediately joined and became an active member of the organization. AcroYoga is now something she loves.

“You have to learn to trust the person you are working with,” McGuire said. “It is a great interpersonal interaction. It is not an individual experience like yoga is. You become connected with the people you work with.”

Maggie Berrier, a member of the Chico Acrobatics Club, said AcroYoga has helped her physically.

“It’s really all about core strength,” Berrier said. “I am so much stronger now that I practice a few times a week. After just a few times trying, I am getting into positions I didn’t think I would ever be able to do.”

McGuire also acknowledges that there are many physical perks of participating in AcroYoga.

“It helps with strength and flexibility. There are not many activities you can do that access both so well,” she said.

Sarah McGuire
The Chico Acrobatics Club performs different positions at the Thursday evening Farmers Market. Photo courtesy of Sarah McGuire.

The Chico Acrobatics Club meets twice a week for practices— once at the Thursday Night Market and once on Sundays in Lower Bidwell. Anyone can watch them perform stunts at the Thursday Night Market and are encouraged to join if they are interested.

“Anyone can do it,” McGuire said. “You don’t have to be a yoga expert to be capable of learning. Size, age and experience are all irrelevant. You just have to practice and eventually you will be able to do it.”

Berrier explains that after joining the team she has become more playful in her day-to-day life.

“Now I just ask my friends if they want to play and we will work on positions anywhere, it doesn’t have to be during practices,” Berrier said.

Although AcroYoga has improved both McGuire and Berrier’s physical capabilities, it has also expanded their spiritual abilities as well.

“There is something so unique about trusting someone to hold you in a complicated position. You are touching someone so intimately but it is not sexual at all. You are making intense eye contact a lot of the time, so it creates a special bond. I actually get a sort of high afterwards. It makes me feel excited and peaceful at the same time,” Berrier said, “and that is a pretty unique experience.”

Alisa Thorsen can be reached at [email protected] or @alisathorsen on Twitter.