When Katie Thacker does a handstand while balancing on her partner Brandon Sherbrook’s hands or feet, she feels a special connection to him.
It’s a connection the couple has developed over the years and one they achieved through a new type of yoga taking Victoria by storm — acro yoga.
Acro yoga is a fusion of yoga, acrobatics and Thai massage that requires both strength and flexibility, while testing the ability to trust and communicate with others.
Thacker’s love of the practice began four years ago, when she heard about acro yoga from a friend and decided to drag Sherbrook with her to a Valentine’s Day class in Victoria. And they haven’t stopped since. Over the years, acro yoga has helped Thacker and Sherbrook develop communication and trust skills between each other.
“Just being able to say ‘hey that doesn’t feel good or that feels really great, or can you please bring me down?’ Being able to express things in those ways helps build communication,” said Thacker.
“You’re trusting someone to take you up off your feet, literally. Sometimes you’re upside down, somtimes you’re flying in the air doing handstands on other people’s hands. Ss you improve your practice your trust of your partner really comes into play.”
Now, the duo teaches acro yoga classes several times a week at a studio in Victoria. In addition, once a month they hold acro date nights, which have grown in popularity. Thacker admits when the roughly 24 couples first arrive for the class, there’s a bit of tension and awkwardness in the room, but by the end they are relaxed and have a smile on their face.
“This offers you the opportunity to be playful. It offers the opportunity to connect on a physical and emotional level when you’re working together. I think people are really seeking that in our busy society now,” Thacker said, adding since they started date nights in October, the classes have been full with a waitlist of up to 20 couples.
The next Acro Date Night takes place Friday, May 5 (today). On Sundays, there is also an open jam for acro yoga enthusiasts at Beacon Hill Park between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. by the Cameron Bandshell. For more information visit katiethacker.ca or join the Facebook Group AcroYoga Victoria for upcoming classes and workshops around town.