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The 6 best 3 Person Yoga Poses and How to Do Them

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Individual yoga practice can be a lot of fun, but combining the efforts with other yogis can add another dimension to your experience.

Have you ever tried to perform yoga poses designed for three people? If you are wondering how that’s possible, you have come to the right place.

Welcome to a comprehensive guide to 3-person yoga poses that will help you get started.

What is Acro Yoga?

three people meditating on dock
What is Acro Yoga?

Acro yoga is a modern practice that brings various elements of yoga and acrobatics together. The resulting activity is artistic and fun, yet physically challenging at the same time.

Acro yoga poses require two or more people. Together, they form beautiful shapes inspired by traditional yoga poses, as well as circus disciplines.

Roles in Acro Yoga

In acro yoga, there are two main types of practitioners: the base and the flyer. Each acro yoga pose includes at least one base and one flyer.

In yoga poses with three or more people, multiple people may perform the same role.

The Base

The person (or people) who stays in contact with the ground is known as “the base”. Their role is to support the flyer (or flyers).

Since this role requires some heavy lifting, the base is often the stronger, sturdier person.

The Flyer

As the name suggests, “the flyer” is the person held up in the air by the base. The flyer is often the one to perform a more intricate pose that requires balance and/or flexibility.

Due to the nature of this role, the flyer is usually smaller and lighter than the base.

The Spotter

This role is supplemental, but when it comes to safety, it’s just as important as the base and the flyer.

The spotter is an additional person whose job is to assist the participants in performing the poses safety and efficiently.

What is Partner Yoga?

beautiful symmetrical partner couple yoga pose
What is Partner Yoga?

Partner yoga is a style adjacent to acro yoga. It also involves a minimum of two people. However, in this instance, the roles are more equal, and all participants remain grounded.

Partner yoga poses often feature participants mirroring each other, or some form of counter balancing.

FAQ

Which role is easier?

This depends on your personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as physical features. For example, taller people might find the role of the flyer quite challenging. In contrast, someone with a smaller frame might struggle to lift their partner.

However, your personal preference also comes into play. If you would rather stay close to the ground, you are definitely better off acting as the base.

Finally, the role of the spotter is a floating responsibility. In a group of 3-4 people, you can swap roles so that everyone has a chance to practice.

How to pick your partner?

Trust and communication are very important in acro yoga. The most obvious choice is someone you already know and trust.

You could practice with a friend, significant other, family member, or a fellow yoga student.

Alternatively, book a slot in an acro yoga class. The teacher normally pairs people up depending on experience level.

How to warm up for 3-person yoga poses?

Aside from a general cardio warm-up to get your heart pumping, consider the type of poses you will be performing.

The base would often benefit from warming up their legs, arms, and wrists. The flyer should work on their core muscles, flexibility, and balance.

Three Person Yoga Poses

In this article, we explore acro yoga and partner yoga poses for 3 people ranging from beginner-friendly to advanced. If you want to add a new dimension to your practice,

Downward Dog Pyramid Pose

triple downward facing dog acroyoga pose
Downward Dog Pyramid Pose

Downward Facing Dog (Adho Much Svanasana) is a staple pose in any yoga practice. It’s a great way to stretch your back and hamstrings, as well as strengthen the upper body.

So, how do you transform this asana into a 3-person pose?

This intermediate yoga pose requires two bases and one flyer. All three practitioners are in Downward Dog position, with the bases taking the body weight of the flyer.

For the person at the top, Downward Dog Pose will be quite tricky to get into. A spotter is essential for this pose.

Step-by-step Instructions for TrIPLE DOWNWARD DOG pyramid pose

  1. Two bases must establish themselves in Downward Dog position facing each other.

  2. It is important for the bases to be close enough so that the flyer does not end up with a very wide Downward Dog. The bases must stay as stead as possible.

  3. With some help from the spotter, the flyer should place their hands on one base’s lower back, then carefully step the feet on the other person’s lower back.

  4. Once the flyer is off the ground, they can extend their arms and legs into the signature inverted V-shape of Downward Dog.

Tips and modifications:

It is possible to perform this pose with bases facing away from each other. However, that will place more strain on the upper body.

It’s best to select bases of a similar height, so that their hips create an even “ground” for the flyer.

If you want to take it up a notch, the flyer can lift one leg into One-Legged Downward Dog.

Stacked Plank

stacked plank pose 3 people yoga
Stacked Plank

Plank Pose (Phalakasana) is extensively used in many types of physical activity, including yoga, pilates, and HIIT. It’s an excellent exercise for your core, arms, and shoulders.

This acrobatic variation of plank includes all three participants stacked on top of each other. Technically, this pose involves two bases and two flyers.

Wait, how is that possible when there are only three people?

The person in the middle is actually both a flyer and a base. They are having to balance off the ground while also sustaining the weight of the top flyer.

Step-by-step Instructions for STACKED PLANK

  1. The first person (base) must get established in Plank Pose.

  2. Placing their hands on the base’s ankles and the feet on the base’s shoulders, the second person should assume the plank position facing the opposite direction.

  3. Finally, the third person (flyer) must carefully make their way up to the top, facing the same way as the base.

Tips and modifications:

When selecting the roles for this pose, it is best for the strongest and heaviest person to be at the bottom, while the most light and nimble person goes at the top.

While the spotter is not mandatory, it can be tricky for the flyer to climb all the way up without help. You can use a chair or a similar object to give you a leg up.

Triple Backbend

closed buddha eyes beautiful close up
Triple Backbend

This pose combines three yoga backbends, modified to fit together as a spectacular 3-person pose.

Since all three participants maintain contact with the ground, there is no base or flyer. This parter yoga pose involves three people leaning on each other in back bending yoga poses.

Step-by-step Instructions for TRIPLE BACKBEND

  1. The pose starts with the first person in King Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana).

  2. Facing away from the first person, the second participant must kneel in front of them before reclining into a modified Camel Pose (Ustrasana). The second person can rest their head on the first person’s abdomen.

  3. The third person starts from a standing position facing away from the others. The final pose is a hybrid of Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana) and Wheel Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana). The third person must lean back into a deep backbend, resting their hands on the second person’s torso.

Tips and modifications:

The person in Camel Pose can extend their arms back to connect with the person below, or reach up to support weight of the top person.

All three backbends are advanced, so it is very important to allow the spine to rest in Child’s Pose or Savasana afterwards.

Double Front Bird

double flying bird three people acroyoga
Double Front Bird

This 3-person variation is a take on a classic acro yoga pose with an additional flyer.

It requires double the amount of strength and coordination from the base, as well as some manoeuvring from both flyers.

Step-by-step Instructions for DOUBLE FRONT BIRD

  1. The base starts on their back, with knees bent and arms extended forward.

  2. The first flyer starts in a standing position near the base’s feet.

  3. As the base rests their feet on the front of the flyer’s hips, the flyer may lean forward and hold hands with the base. As the base extends their legs at a 90-degree angle, the flyer must stiffen their legs and torso into a straight line.

  4. Once the balance is established, the first flyer can let go of the base’s hands and stretch their arms back.

  5. The second flyer must make their way between the base and the first flyer, without compromising anyone’s balance or concentration.

  6. The base can then place their hands on the second flyer’s hips, pushing the arms straight up. The flyer can rest their hands either side of the base’s head for balance.

  7. Transferring the weight into the base’s hands, the second flyer can extend the legs back and elevate the torso. Once everyone is in balance, the flyer can let go of the ground and extend their arms back.

Tips and modifications:

This pose is all about balance and muscle activation. As the flyer, you must keep your back, legs and glutes engaged at all times.

If the balance is suddenly lost, the second flyer should immediately bring the hands to the floor. This will shield the base’s face, and allow the first flyer to dismount.

Supported Camel / Pike Handstand

statue hands in mudra
Supported Camel / Pike Handstand

This is one of the more complex three person yoga poses that requires all participants to work perfectly in sync with each other.

The base is in the most advantageous position, with their back firmly on the floor. The person in Camel Pose maintains contact with the ground, but their position is more precarious.

The last person is completely off the ground, inverted in a pike handstand. This role is the most demanding when it comes to balance and overall risk.

Step-by-step Instructions for SUPPORTED CAMEL PIKE HANDSTAND

  1. The base starts on their back, with knees bent and arms extended forward.

  2. The second person must kneel facing away from the base, with their shins framing the base’s head.

  3. Next, the second person must lean back into a backbend that resembles Camel Pose (Ustrasana). At this point, the base can place their hands on the other participant’s shoulder blades to support their weight.

  4. The flyer starts in plank position, with their hands on the base’s knees, and their ankles held by the second person.

  5. As the person in Camel Pose extends their arms upwards, the flyer can lift their hips and align them over the shoulders.

Tips and modifications:

In a pose such as this one, communication is key. Once the flyer is off the ground, everyone should be working in sync with each other.

Exiting this pose is actually more tricky than coming into it. If possible, the flyer should return into plank before stepping off. Alternatively, they can hop off to one side and help the other participants get up.

For an even more advanced position, the base can lift their hips into Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Triple Goddess

beautifully dressed woman in bali
Triple Goddess

If you ever wanted to test your lower body strength, this 3-person yoga pose is an excellent way to challenge yourself.

All three participants are performing the same pose: the wide squat known as the Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana). This position provides the perfect base for the flyer to stand on.

The great thing about this pose is that it can be performed without a spotter! The participants acting as bases can support the flyer throughout the entire process.

Step-by-step Instructions for Triple Goddess

  1. The two bases start standing side by side in a wide stance. With the toes turned slightly outwards, they can sink into Goddess Pose.

  2. Facing the same direction as the bases, the flyer stands right behind them.

  3. With each base holding one of the flyer’s hands, the flyer can safely step up onto their thighs.

  4. The last step is for the flyer to lower their hips into Goddess Pose.

Tips and modifications:

The flyer can continue to hold hands with the other two participants for constant support. Alternatively, all three people can bring their hands to the heart center.

If balance is a point of concern, the pose can be performed against the wall. In this variation, the flyer steps up from the front.

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