Two High

Disclaimer: There is no substitute for having a coach and spotter on hand to work with you and keep you safe. There is also no better way to do a skill than mastering the progressions, so start small and work you way up. If you have questions about how to safely do something, post a comment, message me on instagram, or find a coach you trust in your area. Safety is the number 1 priority. Go forth and be safe.

Learning 2 high is a very useful skill. It is usually the easiest way to stack a person on top of you and stand for prolonged amount of time.

Definition: 2 High

One person standing on the shoulders of another person. Thus creating a body that is two humans high.

It is also known as Two High, or in cheerleading, shoulder stand. Yes, cheerleader call this shoulder stand. Maybe because someone is literally standing on my shoulders (as opposed to the acro when someone is balancing on arms, go figure).

My intro class

Read the disclaimer above, this is more of a reference for people who have already taken my class or who want to see how I teach it to bring to their class. There is no safe way to do this without a trained spot

Warm up

  • Partner Squats – get the legs moving, you are going to use that deep squat in getting up to 2 high.
  • Shoulder Circles – everyone has their own version of this, but we do want the shoulders to be open for holding weight above the head.
  • Core Training – Satellites – hollow body position with a partner and move your feet around their feet, switch directions have way through.
  • Core Training – Tightness Drill – One partner holds a plank and the other partner tests their tightness by lightly pushing on the back, hips for side to side, picking up one shoulder and then the other. Picking up legs and testing tightness.
  • Partner Mimic Game – One partner is the leader, the other is the follower. Whatever the leader does the follower tries to copy. I suggest starting with slow movement and getting to faster movement.
  • Partner Movement Game – Stand about a foot apart form your partner, hold your hands up by your head like Mickey Mouse ears and try to nock your partner over by pushing their hands.
  • Jump Catch Game – Arms by the side – Three person game, same size works best, but theoretically you should be able to do it in all sizes. Flyer stands in the middle and jumps, keeping arms by your side (I recommend grabbing your shorts/pants) and jumping. Bases stand on the side and catch belly back and try and catch the flyer before the ground. Level 1) slow them down; Level 2) Catch them before they hit the ground; Level 3) Make contact on the way up and help boost their jump.
  • Jump Catch Game – Flyer swings arms – same levels as above.

Acrobatic Training

  • Surfer – base in table top. Flyer steps on sacrum and then between the shoulders. Flyer can shift weight back, and base can shift weight off of hands. Spotter stands behind table, spotting belly and back.
  • Two High On Knees – Base sits on knees with knees wider than hips. Flyer can step in the pocket close the base hip, holding hands and standing on the bases shoulders while on knees. This requires two spotters on either side of the base following the belly back of flyer.
  • Two High On Knees Falling Drill – Start from the same position as above and flyer is going to fall forward or backward in a tight board shape (when falling forward, please release ankles to save bases ears). Spotters make contact and bring flyer slowly (and controlled) to their feet on the ground.
  • Half High – Base stands in a wide squat stance and presents hands. Flyer steps into pocket on one side and then the other. Hands can be released when balance is found.
  • Two High – Putting it all together this is the same starting as the half high but from the first step, the second foot goes to the shoulder of the base. The flyer then moves the second foot to the other shoulder. Base brings hands to the back of the flyers calfs and pulls down. To dismount the base releases one calf and reaches up for the flyers hand. Then the second hand is connected, and the flyer steps down to the pocket of the base.

Bonuses

Once in two high you can practice several additional moves, including

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Side lunges
  • Walking
  • Dancing

Conclusion

Hope you enjoyed this class. Let me know if you have any questions. Also, as stated above, I highly recommend doing this with skilled teachers.

Foot To Hand Clinic

I’m teaching a Foot to Hand Clinic on Tuesday, November 20th, 2018 at Be Movement Arts in Charlestown, Mass at 7:15pm.

Have you ever wanted to become a foot to hand expert? Come learn the foundations of a really strong foot to hand practice. We will go over hand placement, flyer position, spotting for standing acrobatics, and progressions for growing your practice.

Cost is $30 if you pay before November 15th, and $35 between the 15th and the 20th.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Wanderlust 108: SF Edition

One of my favorite teachers asked me to help her teach some acro at Wanderlust 108 in SF. I know that some of my friends got hooked on Acro because of Wanderlust so I was curious. Apparently Wanderlust has two types of festivals. The full on Wanderlust experience which is several days long, held usually at ski resorts with almost 24 hours worth of activities each day.

They also do 108s, which as I understand it, is the same feeling but in a small bite sized, one day packages.

We started the morning with a 5k (I hate running):

That is Britta, Jesse, and I getting ready to start the run. Britta and Jesse did a great run and I was lagging behind, but I finished.

Side note, the SF 108 is held in golden gate park, good breakfast options near there: Andytown Coffee Roasters and Devil’s Tooth Bakery.

There was then a giant group yoga which was pretty epic. We spent the time getting to communicate with the other Acro Teachers who were there to also work with Britta. We reviewed material and started to play around with a bunch of random people. We weren’t super quiet during the meditation, but hopefully we didn’t mess anyone up too much.

After the group session broke up we taught two 50 minute acro yoga classes. Nothing too complicated, but it was a lot of fun to work with some new people and introduce people to the practice.

I got to work with some really great teachers: Adam, Alexa, April, Jesse, and Link. They were all awesome people to meet and work with. A big shout out to Britta Rael for asking me to be a part of her wonderful event and some of the photos in the post.

Being a Beginner

We all come to a new endeavor with previous experience somewhere. I came to Acroyoga with a background in cheerleading. I wasn’t an expert cheerleader, and I was no where near the best shape I’ve been in. Despite my lack of fitness, I was still stronger than others in certain areas where my years of experience had built up strength that was already there or quickly returned. Things like foot to hand were super easy.

But for every area that was super easy, there were ten areas where I was weak. The first couple of classes I went to ended up splitting between beginner and advanced. I made some friends pretty quickly and they kept asking me to join the advanced side. I still didn’t have bird swivels and presses, how could I be advanced? I would often stay on the beginner side and just work the basics.

As I’ve moved to a spot where I actually have the skills I need. Where a bird press swivel isn’t too hard with anyone and my hips are almost always on the ground. Here, I begin to look at the new people coming to class. Many of them appear to be looking for the end pose and how to get there. We tend not to break up the class between beginner and advanced anymore and the material that is easy for someone who has practiced a little is not always attainable for people who come for the first time. Still the first timers are trying the hard stuff.

As my friend Mike would say “TOO MANY WORDS!”

TL;DR; It’s okay to start with the basics. It’s okay to stay where you are and work on “beginner” skills. You really move past beginner when you can do beginner skills with everyone, not just with one person. Work the basics.