Jason Nemer – Inside the Magic of AcroYoga


The guest on this episode of the podcast is Jason Nemer, co-founder of AcroYoga.

What are the origins of AcroYoga?

  • Jason had some sport acrobat experience, a mix between gymnastics and figure skating.
  • Jenny had experience in therapeutic flying.
  • AcroYoga is the combination of those two practices.
  • It helps with flexibility and mobility.

What was the birth moment of AcroYoga?

  • They met at a party, tried poses from each other’s repertoire and it clicked.
  • Therapeutic flying teaches acrobatics in a non-engaging way.
  • They now have certified teachers in 55 countries.

What are the categories in sport acrobatics?

  • Matched in pairs:
    • Women, Men, Mixed, Women’s trio
    • Men’s quartet
      • Two bases of the same height.
      • A middle man.
      • A flyer, the smallest one.
    • There’s also platform tumbling.
    • Cirque du Soleil often displays sport acrobatics.

Surrender mentality

  • It’s knowing when to stop pushing before you hurt yourself.
  • People have a strong will but breakable body.
  • The therapeutics part of AcroYoga helps with that.
  • AcroYoga improves traction.
    • Folded Leaf.
  • In AcroYoga you don’t need to flex, just let gravity push you.
  • 100-year-old gymnasts are rare.
    • High impact and pushing limits.
    • Yoga and acrobatics are much more soft impact.

Who were your teachers and inspirations?

  • Lu Yi, an acrobat and circus master.
  • Scott Blossom, who is specialized in acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
    • Also specialized in Ayurveda and shadow yoga.
      • Noble tools to help people feel better.
    • Jason practices Metta (Loving Kindness) and meditation.
      • Accessible tools for everyone.
    • To be a healer you have to be “selfish” and “self-conscious”.
      • You’ll be able to give more without hurting yourself.

What is the handstand approach?

  • Gymnastics is a very fixed and rigid sport.
    • It’s important to remain open, curious and playful.
    • The mix of different disciplines will also improve your techniques.

What is shadow yoga?

  • Relives back pain.
  • It resembles Tai Chi but with more circular movements.
  • The muscles stay soft and the bones and joints take the pressure.
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What is ATB?

  • Alignment, tightness and balance.
    • Make the body one piece.
    • Boiled and raw egg experiment.
    • You can achieve more extension by pushing on the ground.
  • It’s a technique used to make a perfect handstand.
  • Bridge analogy:
    • The metal is the bone and the cement is the muscle.
    • You have to align the structure before pouring in the cement.
  • You must have flexibility, strength and technique.

Common mistakes in handstands

  • Don’t put your hands wider than your shoulders.
  • Put your hands in a straight line.
  • Elbows are always wrongly placed.

Did you have any more teachers?

  • Dharma Mittra, a Brazilian yoga teacher.
    • Teaches psychic development techniques.
      • Visualization, humming sounds, etc.
    • He taught him the philosophies of life and mindfulness.

What are the things you see in the yoga world that drive you crazy?

  • Yoga can be really intense: “this is the only right way to do things.”
  • People that don’t bring the philosophical part of yoga into their everyday life.
    • AcroYoga is done in pairs, so it has a much more human side.
    • The Acro community is welcoming and supportive.

About handstand rigs, dream machines, and power levers.

  • There’s no machine to unify your body.
  • The best way to do so is by using a rock climbing harness clipped to a cable that goes into a pulley and into rigs.
    • Used to work on flexibility.
    • Dream Machines plus power levers.
  • It can accelerate the progress of making a handstand.

Unified Field Theory of AcroYoga

  • Maurice Ravel’s Bolero unifies every orchestral instrument.
    • Caveman
  • Albert Einstein dedicated his life to unify physics theories.
  • Jason wants to do the same with AcroYoga’s basic poses.
  • He wants to create a sequence for each level: beginner, intermediate, advanced.
    • To keep people interested in non-competitive sport.
    • People would know where they are going.
    • “Learning the macro from the micro.”
    • Sometimes, working on one skill can transfer it to other existing skills.
      • Metta learning section of The 4-Hour Chef
      • Trying the flyer position can make you a better base and vice versa.
      • Hatha Yoga is getting the female and male energy in a person to a balance.
      • The principle behind AcroYoga is using therapeutics to extend your mobility for a better strength endurance.
      • The Princess Bride method (Using iocane powder).

Who do you think of when you hear the word successful?

  • Gandhi because he thought outside the box.
    • He was committed to his beliefs and he changed the world.
  • Einstein because he ignored what other people thought and changed the world.
    • He had an open mind.
    • “I like to cut wood because I can see the fruits of my labour.”
    • He was a simple man.
  • Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!
  • The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.
  • Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu.

What belongings do you travel with?

  • A suitcase.
  • A backpack that contains a computer, notes, gifts from different places and photos.
  • A ukulele.
  • Some throwing knife from Wild Sports.
  • Frisbees for Disc Golf.

What is the purchase of a 100$ or less that had the biggest impact on you?

What does Jason believe that other people think is insane?

  • That you can trust people.
  • He assumes the best in people.
  • On his 30th birthday, he lost the van he was living in.
    • Started his nomadic lifestyle.
    • Most amazing thing that happened to him.

Journey from restaurants to yoga

  • He was living in San Francisco and working in restaurants.
  • The only things that made him happy were Yoga and eating.
  • Being true to yourself is all that matters.
  • He started to live on the road and exploring the world while teaching his passion.

What would your billboard say?

  • Keep moving and playing.
  • Pursue your inner child.


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