Acro Revolution in the Media

Watch Lena Dunham talking Acro on Ellen

 

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  VOGUE: Inside the AcroYoga Movement

 

How comfortable are you with being touched by strangers? How about being touched by the feet of strangers? If you’re interested in AcroYoga, the newest partner-based exercise craze practiced by the likes of Lena DunhamGisele Bündchen, and thousands of extremely flexible and photogenic Instagrammers, be prepared to get a lot more, well, hands on.

First, some history: The practice of AcroYoga is either very ancient or relatively new, depending on whom you ask. Acrobatics, yoga, and Thai massage have roots that reach back thousands of years, but AcroYoga (which combines all of the above, using gravity and your own body weight to enhance stretching and strengthening poses) took root in Montreal in the late 1990s and branched off to the U.S. in the early 2000s. Newer variations on Acro have sprung up in recent years, including Acro Revolution, which considers itself partner acrobatics and focuses more on the performative aspects—balancing on someone’s forearm! Outrageous-looking inversions!—of the practice.

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Whichever your chosen school, the fitness phenomenon has since found something of an avid fan base. Most recently, Dunham, who may be Acro’s most well-known evangelist, posted an Instagram of herself “flying” atop the feet of instructor Ryan in an Acro T-shirt (fashioned after the AC/DC logo); later, she discussed her practice on Ellen DeGeneress eponymous talk show. “Tracy Anderson, who’s a friend of mine and a professional fitness trainer, she’s trying to get my 98-year-old body to match its chronological age of 28,” Dunham told DeGeneres. “She suggested [Acro] and was like, ‘It’s a great way to reconnect your bones and muscles and understand your body and really feel like you’re in it.’ ”

Whichever your chosen school, the fitness phenomenon has since found something of an avid fan base. Most recently, Dunham, who may be Acro’s most well-known evangelist, posted an Instagram of herself “flying” atop the feet of instructor Ryan in an Acro T-shirt (fashioned after the AC/DC logo); later, she discussed her practice on Ellen DeGeneress eponymous talk show. “Tracy Anderson, who’s a friend of mine and a professional fitness trainer, she’s trying to get my 98-year-old body to match its chronological age of 28,” Dunham told DeGeneres. “She suggested [Acro] and was like, ‘It’s a great way to reconnect your bones and muscles and understand your body and really feel like you’re in it.’ ”

 

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Here’s Lena Dunham Doing What Looks Like Acro Yoga, Maybe

 

in CelebriyogisYD News 

Is that Lena Dunham flying in an acro yoga pose? If you frequent these parts you know we like to post our share of celebriyogis. Cause, celebriyogis, they’re just like us, right? It’s nice to relate.

Lena Dunham, creator and star of Girls and occasional interpretive dancer (her Sia “Chandelier” rendition has a special place in our heart) isn’t afraid to try new things. This approach has served her well in life and has clearly led her to what could very well be considered acro yoga (or at least that’s what the media is calling it) which is what she might be doing in this photo she posted to Instagram.

It’s definitely acro. Is it yoga? Are we opening this can of worms? Lena’s partner is Ryan Stepka aka @acroshirt, an NYC-based Acro Revolution teacher. According to their website, Acro Revolution is “a community of acrobats on progressive, method-based teaching practices designed to explore the art of human connection.” Yoga? Eh, maybe somewhere in there. Everyone wants to think so. (Note: Lena didn’t call it yoga herself.)

Let’s just chalk this one up to Lena dipping her daring toes into something that sorta, kinda might be yoga, but likely isn’t, but very well could be the gateway to a yoga practice down the road. Yeah, that’s it. We’re glad she’s having fun. Side note to the media: Stop calling everything yoga!

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Ultimately, the practice is founded on physics—and I can vouch that the instability of balancing on an uneven surface (someone’s feet!) and the core-strength required by the poses, which will leave you with a gradual burn akin to a Vinyasa class. (“Bases” need only learn the proper form and alignment—what Acros call “bone stacking”—to support the “flyers.”) Beyond the constant contact of hands and feet required in an AcroYoga class, sessions end with partners stretching and kneading each others flesh in a take on Thai massage: “It’s our version of savasana,” said Ben-Reuven.

Once back on solid ground, Ben-Reuven and I sat cross-legged on the floor of SoHo’s Twisted Trunk Yoga studio where she teaches a weekly AcroYoga class, and I asked her to unpack the sudden surge in popularity. “Well, it does look cool in pictures,” said Ben-Reuven, who is among a group of Acro-lytes who gather in Central Park every sunny weekend to practice together. “But really, I’ve never been physically stronger in my life.” It also comes down to a certain amount of human-interaction-as-healing. “Having that live person and a connection underneath you that’s working to support you is a pretty magical experience,” she said. After the interview, she walked me to the door and I insisted on giving her a hug: so much for professional distance. But that’s nothing new for Acro, said Ben-Reuven: “I’ve seen people reconsider their ideas of what they’re capable of.”

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Acro Revolution Teachers at TEDxUNC