While I generally work out by myself, I've also tried exercising with my dog, an SO, and my BFF. As adorable as my pup and my boyfriend were, though, I personally got the best workout (and had the most fun) with my best friend, hands down. Not only was she great at encouraging me, but we were also able to catch up on each other's lives between reps, which helped the time fly right on by. A new Instagram post of Ashley Graham and Karlie Kloss doing acroyoga has me totally inspired to give the bendy practice a try the next time my bestie and I hang out.
Over the weekend, Dogpound, a personal training gym in New York City, shared an adorable photo on its Instagram account of Graham and Kloss doing a yoga pose together, and honestly, it has me ready to start flying ASAP, channeling Baby's signature move in Dirty Dancing.
Kloss and Graham are mastering a beginner's acroyoga pose called the "front bird," and if you're feeling like you want to give it a fly, too, here's how to do it safely and correctly: Per Women's Health, start by having one partner lie on the floor, who will act as the "base" of the pose.
As the flying partner walks toward the base, the person on the ground should place her heels on top of her partner's thighs so her toes just touch the flying partner's lower belly, according to Women's Health. Clasp hands with each other as the person on top pushes gently away from the floor. The person on the bottom should then begin to straighten her arms and legs until the pose is complete and the top partner feels like an actual superhero. If you're really feeling powerful, release each other's hands and try to balance yourselves.
Despite how magical it sounds to practice tricky poses with your BFF, the world of acroyoga can be a little intimidating if you aren't quite sure what you're doing. Basically, the practice includes a series of yoga poses, done with a partner, that often involve the partner on top being inverted while supported by the partner who acts as the base. Depending on the difficulty level, there is sometimes also a "spotting" partner, according to Women's Health, who can help make sure that everyone stays safe and doesn't literally go flying.
Regardless of how intimidating this kind of yoga might seem, though, you really don't need any special training to embark on an acroyoga journey, according to acroyoga teacher Jenny Melnick. "Familiarity with yoga positions and some body awareness doesn’t hurt, and flexible hamstrings make most things easier," she wrote in Seattle Yoga News. "Like any new skill, you start from where you’re at, and you learn from there at your own pace." Of course, if you do have any concerns due to an old injury or any health problems, it never hurts to check in with your doctor, Melnick added.
As for the benefits of acroyoga, they can be both physical and mental, especially since you're working with your BFF (or maybe even your SO). Jason Nemer, co-founder of AcroYoga, told Women's Health that certain poses help build muscle, release back tension, and much more. "Working with a partner to lift one of you into the air helps you learn a lot about your fears and limitations—and how to move past them," he explained.
While finding an in-person acroyoga class might be best if you want to make sure your form is on-point and that you can ask your instructor any questions you have along the way, you can also experiment with a video for beginners on YouTube if you don't want to commit to a class just yet.
If you do opt for an actual class, here's what to expect, according to Melnick: "At most AcroYoga classes, you can expect a warm up, strength training and flying," she explained in Seattle Yoga News. "Warming up might mean individual asana practice, partner yoga or basic tumbling and stretching. Acro-strength work could be push ups, core work and inversion training, often with partners." Like any other kind of yoga class, Melnick added, more meditative elements, like partner or group reflections, or even Thai massage, might be part of the session, too, depending on your teacher.
So, who's ready to fly?