Child’s pose is no longer good enough.

In a recent ESPN article, beach volleyball player Lauren Fendrick cited acro-yoga with her husband Andrew as one way she relaxes and recovers after training.

“When I am the base (the person on the bottom) I love the way it pushes my legs into their hip sockets and when I’m the flyer (Andrew in this photo) it’s a nice decompression of the spine!” she told the site.

Dabbing into Friday like… 💪🏽

A post shared by Lauren Fendrick (@laurenfendrick) on

Acro-yoga is a partner-based form of yoga combining traditional yoga, acrobatics and healing arts, according to AcroYoga International.

Not only does it make for a cool Instagram picture, but acro-yoga has its own set of unique benefits. According to the Huffington Post, it can develop core strength. Both partners need the strength to stay stable, and most combinations involve moving in and out of plank positions.

When the base lifts their partner up and the flyer is balances on top of them, the motions here can be described as body weight exercises or calisthenics.  The base is doing leg presses and bench presses while the flyer is doing handstands and planks. The added complication of doing this with a person takes and builds an incredible amount of strength.

Another benefit the Huffington Post points out is the kinesthetic awareness achieved through acro-yoga. Working with a partner makes you more aware of your movements, positioning and alignment so you can have perfect form and avoid injury.

Apart from external benefits there are also internal benefits of acro-yoga. The practice cultivates trust, listening and breath awareness, which also fits into Fendrick’s greater recovery plan.

Between training a few times a day and coaching at Stanford, she is definitely in need of relaxation, which she achieves by focusing on her oxygen saturation. Fendrick told ESPN, she checks her oxygen saturation in her blood every morning, before training, after training and at night to track her recovery process. If it is low she will do 20 minutes of breathing exercises on top of her daily meditation.

Yoga in general is a common way professional athletes supplement their intense training sessions. According to Stack, Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love and their small forward LeBron James have been known to do a downward facing dog or two.

“There are so many aspects of yoga that can help you when you step out onto the hardwood,” Love told Yahoo Sports when he was with the Minnesota Timberwolves.  

Source: Stack

Love said it improved his strength and stamina, and as for James, he said it helped him with an injury when he was with the Cavaliers the first time.

I had some lower-back problems a few years ago and once I started to do the yoga, it has helped them go away for now,” told the Cleveland Plain Dealer back in 2009.

Source: Stack
Source: Stack

Whether you want to give the acrobatics a try, or stick to the traditional form of yoga, this classic practice is sure to improve your mind, body and soul.

posted on 04/26/2017 by Jenna Milliner-Waddell
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