Everybody knows that the Dead Sea is the lowest spot on earth and the salt-concentration in the water is the highest in the world. What less people know, is that the Dead Sea is the location for a yearly gathering of the Acro Yoga community in Israel.
On the surface, the Dead Sea might not sound like the ideal location for intensive physical activity, due to high temperature and excruciating humidity. That’s why the event takes place in February, which is the height of winter in Israel. On top of that, the bewitching scenery of the Dead Sea and surrounding mountain ranges provides the perfect background for… well, basically anything.
Acroyoga has been gaining tremendous popularity since its inception in the 1990’s. All over the world you can find Acro Yoga Zing Events, from workshops to retreats, from festivals and weekend intensive. Hundreds of events are taking place each year.
If you’re not familiar with Acro Yoga let’s first quickly explain what it’s all about. As can be derived from the name, it is a combination of yoga and acrobatics. It threads together elements of yoga – balance, holding of poses, breathing and prolonged, low-intensity muscle work – with playful tricks of acrobatics done in pairs – one person is the base, either lying on his / her back, or standing, while the other person is the flyer, performing either slow and measured movements, or different variations of jumps and throws.
More theoretically, acro yoga is the sum of traditional Hatha or Vinyasa Flow yoga, acrobatics movements and elements of the healing art Thai Massage.
As we’ve mentioned, acro is based on partner work. The connection and ability to work together is a major part of the practice of acro. It builds on trust and communication between the base and flyer, requiring both extreme levels of balance and coordination.
Acro has its playful elements as well. Drawing from the tradition of circus acrobatics (which main purpose is to entertain an audience) acroyoga is juggling between the grounded yoga and the free-spirited acrobatics. For this, it is easy to understand the attraction it has garnered among body & mind-conscious hipsters, as explained in this article.
The Israeli acro community is descending on the Dead Sea every February for a weekend of training and enjoying. As a whole, acro enthusiasts, all over the world, cherish opportunities to practice in nature, or at least outdoors, rather than in studios like is the custom with yoga practitioners.
The Dead Sea itself is an amazing backdrop for the eye-catching partner flows of acroyoga. And as can be expected, you could hear the mechanical clicks of phone cameras all over the place, capturing reflections in the calm water and especially during sunset, when yellow-orange colors washed the whole scene, illuminating bodies in a variety of poses.
One of the most beloved practices of acroyoga is the jam. Similar to a jazz jam-session, an acro jam involves multiple participants changing partners as the jam progresses while letting the playful side of acroyoga to lead the way, still not forgetting the fitness component; the combination of the two has drawn a huge following all over the world, as Vouge reports. Leaning on the foundation, the known and thoroughly practiced techniques, during a jam each duo of a base and a flyer attempts to breakout of the structured practice and improvise new and exciting flows and movements.
Usually accompanied by music, the scene of an acro jam is a delight to watch. Just imagine many couples doing impressive acrobatics routine against the gorgeous Dead Sea while lively music is playing. Everyone is in a good mood, having fun and engaged in an exciting physical practice done in unison with another person.