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Do you meet these prerequisites in Acroyoga?

Have you ever heard of the term pre-requisites relating to acroyoga?

It's something that is often specified with regards to workshops, festival classes of even teacher trainings.

So what actually are pre-requisites?

A pre-requisite is a requirement that you need to meet to be able to participate in that specific event or activity.

An example might be star pose.

For a workshop that is focussed on free star or needle on feet.

Or in the case of a teacher training a pre-requisite might be that you can docertain movements like a handstand, or have taken a previous training module with that school.

Before I explain more about pre-requisites I think it's worth mentioning...

In festival situations where there are many different classes with different levels of skill, and different tricks to learn, often participants try to join classes that are too advanced for them (because they want to learn that cool move).

They might see the demonstration of the teachers doing a castaway and want to join the class.

But the pre-requisites might be a reverse star to open throne pop, and students might join the class only having tried that skill once before.

This is where there is a problem because it becomes unsafe if the skill level isn't as high as needed.

Which is why I'm writing this email to help you understand the purpose of pre-requisites and why and how they are chosen.

So first and foremost the pre-requisites are set by the teacher(s), and it is the teacher(s) responsibility to pick suitable pre-reqs for their class to ensure that the skill level and safety of participants is adequate.

I can't speak for others but if I am teaching a certain level of class I will know exactly what is sensible as a bench mark for a student to be able to do that will make them safely able to practice and learn what I am teaching.

It's important to note as well if I specify "bird-bird icarian pop" as a pre-requisite for a class that this could be taken multiple ways, which is why I like to be more specific, like this...

"Bird - Bird Icarian pop (consistent and safe without spotters)"

This little clarification, I would typically assume even if it isn't written.

So if you turn up to a festival and see some moves written as pre-requisitesyou should assume it means you need to be consistent and safe in that move without spotters.

It's also important to note if you are taking that class on your own without a regular training partner, then you should be confident that you could dothat skill safely and without spotters with a random training partner who you aren't calibrated with.

To help you fully understand the reason why we use pre-requisites, there's actually several reasons, not only safety.

1. Safety of course is the first and foremost reason. As I've mentioned if you're skill level isn't high enough, or worse if you think it's higher than it really is, there will be added risk of injury to you and the other students.

2. Class progression is another reason. Even if its safe to practice that skill if you aren't able to complete the pre-requisites you will likely struggle to complete the moves being taught, and it will slow down the learning of the other students who are able.

3. Another reason is to avoid hurt feelings and have clarity. It's challenging as a teacher to have to tell a student to leave the class if they aren't safe enough or skilled enough. It's something you have to do as a teacher when necessary, but by having clear pre-requisites it gives a clear and measurable benchmark rather than coming across as a personal judgement that someone is unsafe.

4. Enjoyment is the last reason. Even if the other reasons aren't significant factors, when you're skill level isn't at the right point it can be a very unenjoyable experience if you end up spotting a lot of moves and not achieving them whenever you attempt them. Plus it can be less enjoyable for those working with you too.

Please don't take this as discouragement, I'm all for taking new classes and pushing your limits.

I think it's just valuable to share the teachers perspective, and give some understanding of why pre-requisites are there, and how best to understand them.

Lastly if you do take a class with pre-requisites don't be offended if the teacher asks you to leave if they think you haven't performed the pre-requisites properly.

They are doing it for your own good, to ensure the enjoyment, safety, and progression of you and the other students in the class.




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