#Skelia_Talks With Piotr, Frontend Developer at Skelia Krakow
There’s hardly any person left who hasn’t tried yoga. But when it comes to combined practices like acroyoga, it’s an undiscovered activity for most people. Acroyoga, done in pairs or groups, combines yoga and acrobatics. It seems like a perfect activity to master self-control and learn more about how your body can move through space. Skelia’s frontend developer Piotr explains what is so exciting about acroyoga and what do you need to start training.
– Hi, Piotr! Let’s start with you telling a bit about yourself and your experience with Skelia.
– Hi! I’ve been working at Skelia for over 2 years at the Benemen project. As a frontend developer, I’m mostly responsible for implementing and ensuring the quality of the UIs.
– And what do you do in your spare time?
– I do a lot of sports: calisthenics, weight-lifting, running. But more than anything else, acroyoga. It is usually practiced in pairs and I do it with my girlfriend. There are two fundamental roles: base and flyer. The person taking the base position lays on the ground and elevates the flyer. To ensure safety, the third role of a spotter is required: this person has to assist and catch the flyer in case they fall.
– Sounds thrilling! How did you get into it?
– About 3-4 years ago, I saw a video of a couple doing acroyoga and I just thought that it might be fun to try. I showed it to my girlfriend Natalia and she loved it too. Actually, she was the first one to join the class in Krakow. Shortly after I moved there, I took part in my first acroyoga jam.
– What is it that attracts you most in acroyoga?
– First of all, it simply looks great. But that alone wouldn’t keep me for longer than a month. What’s more important is that with acroyoga, you can always find a new challenge: a new pose or a new transition from one pose to another. You always feel that you’re learning something new. I didn’t have these feelings with weight-lifting or other activities. Another valuable thing is that acroyoga teaches you how to interact with other people, feel their movements, and balance together.
– How did you develop this passion for acroyoga?
– At first, I was attending beginner classes. At that time, I learned some basic poses like Bird or Throne, discovered that I am a base and my girlfriend is a flyer, and got the understanding of acroyoga’s savoir-vivre (do not wear socks during training). Most importantly, I discovered that a washing machine is not merely a home appliance but a set of transitions you can do over and over again.
Having 1-2 sessions per week, I was slowly making progress and acquiring more advanced skills. We started participating in workshops held by teachers from other cities or even countries. Such events are a great opportunity to gain new skills. Currently, we don’t take regular classes but we’re trying to take part in acro jams once a week.
– And now, how much time do you dedicate to acroyoga?
– I have 4-5 different training sessions per week and only one of them is acroyoga. Most of the time I work on my strength and calisthenic skills.
– What does your regular training session look like?
– There isn’t a regular session per se. Usually, we start from a warm-up, focusing on the muscles that will be used during training, and then work on certain skills. We can take up something new or improve something we already know. For instance, recently we’ve been working on our Hand-to-Hand so the whole workout revolved around that. After a warm-up, we just repeated different types of the pose multiple times. To us, this type of training is about improving our technique and making us feel more confident in what we’re doing.
– Is there any technique you particularly like?
– I love it that in acroyoga, learning one thing gives you an opportunity to try something totally new and opens new fields to explore. From what I’ve tried so far, I can tell that standing acro is the best thing to do and something I would definitely like to master.
– What would you say is the most challenging in acroyoga?
– To me, the greatest challenge is to find a way to communicate with your partner during the training. Another thing is that there’s not much information on the internet (it is getting better though), and sometimes, we have to figure out the way to do a new trick by simply looking at the photo or video on Instagram or YouTube.
– I believe such activities largely depend on the people you can learn from and share the experience with. Is there an acroyoga community you’re part of?
– All acro people are basically one community. I’m grateful to those people at Krakow thanks to whom I’ve learned the basics. Thanks to Facebook, I can find people practicing acro in any big city. We know a lot of acroyoga enthusiasts from Warsaw, Wrocław, and Przemyśl. We go on Facebook before each trip and check if there’s an acroyoga group in that area — and there usually is one.
– To sum it up, what would you advise those who want to try acroyoga?
– Give it a try! A lot of people think that acro requires superhuman abilities but this is definitely not true. Everyone can find their way of doing acro and adjust the training to their needs. Since the beginning of my acro journey, I haven’t met a single person who hasn’t been helpful and eager to give me some advice or support.
As the first step, check if there is an acroyoga group for your city on Facebook. Join the group and attend your first class or jam. Don’t worry if you don’t have a partner to do acroyoga — you can always find someone on site.