So this has come up a few times lately because a lot of what happens in acrojams in parks around Australia. As a student you could be taught by teachers from all kinds of backgrounds. Acroyoga is an unregulated term used for partnered acrobatics paired with yoga, including both L-based (a base with their legs in the air) and standing postures. The yoga aspect is arguably about the meditative aspects of the practice, or some of the stretching, breathing and movement aspects. Many of the moves have strong roots in the partnered circus acrobatics form Adagio.
Acroyoga as a concept has popularised partnered acrobatics like nothing else, and there are several modern schools that have taken the torch and created their own forms of movement. Meanwhile washing machines and flows can be made up by anyone! Washing machines are a series of moves that start and end with the same pose (so can be played continually), and flows are a series of moves that end at a set point.
The first schools of acroyoga were:
Acroyoga Montreal – founded by Eugene Poku and Jessie Goldberg in 1999 in Montreal.
Acroyoga International, sometimes referred to as Acroyoga.org – started by Jason Nemer and Jenny Sauer-Klein in 2003 in San Fransisco.
These first two schools both teach a form of therapeutic acroyoga as well as a set of partnered postures and flows. They had a bit of a tiff over who came up with the term first, but more recently have a more collaborative approach. They both hold teacher trainings around the world.
Meanwhile other schools of acroyoga have cropped up around the world include Hanuman Acrobatic Yoga. Because their training is often in Thailand or Bali, a lot of Australian instructors have graduated from this school. There is also AcroVinyasa, which also offers teacher training.
You will find in Australia that many high quality teachers don’t have formal acroyoga training at all, but rather have complimentary circus or dance backgrounds that have taught them the strength, movement and sensibilities of acroyoga.
Acroyoga is also not so popular in Australia that you’ll find competing teachers in a small geographic area, so my suggestion is to go along and see if you click with the teacher and connect with the form of movement. There are touring teachers and events regularly that you can find through this page if you want to try other forms of acroyoga, but you’ll find that many acro-jammers and acroyogis don’t subscribe to a particular school but rather borrow from everything they can find.