I had an enquiry recently from someone about what really is an Acro Jam and how best to manage a jam and the different groups and levels.
So I figured this may be useful for everyone to know...
An AcroYoga jam in my view is a space for community, for practice, for play and for connection. I consider it a bit like how a social dance works.
People can come to an acro jam to share their practice with each other, to have a good time playing together, and to essentially celebrate this practice that they love and use it as an expression for joy and fun.
In our communities we typically start with a short opening circle and share.
We introduce ourselves and how we feel, or what we want to practice today.
This is an opportunity to welcome new people into the community and already start to build some connection with them.
Then we may also encourage or lead some group warm ups, connection games to build more rapport and get people interacting with each other. It's not always necessary but again can be very nice when there's new people to help them feel welcome.
Then we break into a jam.
The jamming part is pretty simple, people can ask to play with others and take turns practicing together.
It doesn't matter what experience level you are, you are very welcome to ask anyone to play with you.
They don't have to say yes, but if you don't ask it's a guaranteed no, so just approach someone and ask...
"would you like to play together?"
A jam is also a great space for using spotters and supporting each other to be safe in your practice.
This means it is encouraged to ask others to spot, and to offer to spot them if they need.
The main thing with a jam is that there actually isn't really any structure when playing.
People are free to do their own things, work with each other, play in whatever way they want.
If some people just want to work on their handstands together the whole time, that's totally okay.
If someone only wants to train with 1 partner the whole time, that's also okay (not as much in the spirit of a jam, but its still perfectly okay).
If someone wants to play for 5 minutes with every different person at the jam, because they just want to interact and meet a lot of different people that's also okay.
The only things that are not okay in a jam in my mind are the following:
Unsafe practice - This means doing anything that puts yourself or especially others at significant risk.
The reason this isn't okay is of course that someone could get hurt, but added on top of that is that if someone does get hurt, the whole community has to deal with it.
Deal with the physical and logistical emergency repercussions, but also the emotional ones too.
Full on teaching - A jam isn't the right space for fully teaching.
Sharing bits here and there is fine for sure.
But I believe the classroom is the best place for teaching as it has different dynamics of leading, responsibility, focus from the students and so on.
Doing things without consent - This means not doing something wihtout being clear or without asking someone what they are okay with.
I think its really important to communicate with someone what they want to do, feel comfortable doing, and also understanding what they aren't comfortable with.
This is especially applicable for someone with more experience, if you're more experienced than the other person, it is inherently your responsibility to discuss and implement consent, communication and understanding.
An example of this might be putting someone in a free star without asking, and then letting them fall over if it loses balance.
Instead you should first ask if they are okay falling over from a star pose, and if they would prefer to have a spotter.
Lastly I would add, it's very nice to close the jam with another sharing circle to wrap things up.
So I hope this gives some indication and idea of what a jam is, what a jam isn't, and how to have really fun and enjoyable jams in your communities.
If you're unsure just always come back to the intention and focus of the jam which is: community, connection, fun, and practice.
If you want to really improve your acro practice, learn more, or attend one of our retreats and events, then these are the best ways I can help you :)
1. You can learn about our product The AcroBack and order your very own here:
2. If you're interested in learning more about our personal acroyoga coaching online then you can find all of the info here, and book a free chat with me!
3. If you want to stay updated about our retreats, festival, and workshop events then our AcroSpirit Community Facebook Group is the best place to check.