|Austin Acro Advocates works toward a safe and inclusive community for all area acroyogis and visitors. While we generally encourage our members to find their own voice and work out their own problems, if you run into significant or chronic issues, we’re here to help.
If you have had a problem in the Austin acro community you feel our board should know about, please use this form to anonymously submit a report.
These rules are in place at all jams run by AcroYoga Austin / Austin Acro Advocates.
- Waiver. Please make sure to read and sign the waiver before starting play. A signed waiver is required for participation in AcroYoga Austin jams.
- Minors. Minors are allowed at jams, as long as their legal guardian signs the waiver and they are appropriately supervised. Please do not let small children run into areas where acro is actively being practiced, as this can be unsafe for them and others.
- Pets. Per agreement with the facilities that host us, pets are not allowed at jams, except for service dogs. Pets can be a distraction to those around them, and can pose a danger to themselves and others.
- Space. Respect the space! Please clean up after yourself, and don’t forget your belongings. This includes bottles, food wrappers, clothes, and so on. If you bring food to share, please take the leftovers with you. Do not bring food on the mats. Wear your shoes to the bathroom, and take them off before returning to the mats.
These jams are paid for by your generous donations, so please consider leaving one to help us keep them going.
Code of Conduct
Our Code of Conduct is based on simple, common sense principles of respect, empathy, and risk management, for the benefit of the community as a whole. Failure to abide by this code at AcroYoga Austin events, or elsewhere, may result in temporary or permanent exclusion from our jams, events, and social media.
- Safety. There are inherent risks involved in acro. While these risks can’t be eliminated altogether, we do our best to minimize them. Please practice safety first. Use accurate self-assessment; know your capabilities and limits. Be aware of the space around you and what people are doing. Riskier material should be saved for environments with appropriate safety infrastructure – a sprung gymnastics floor, crash mats, etc. Ask for guidance and spotting from an experienced community member when learning challenging new material.
- Drugs and alcohol. Give the gift of your full presence. Using or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not allowed at the our jams and events, and is a bad idea anywhere you play acro.
- Harassment. Unwelcome sexual advances, sexual coercion or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, whether explicit or implicit, are not allowed at our jams and events. A history of harassing behavior, at our events or elsewhere, will make you unwelcome in our community. Do not exploit power imbalances in pursuit of sexual connection – for example, if you’re an experienced, skilled acroyogi, making passes at new people is not a great idea. Respect the sacredness of touch, and when in doubt, make it about the acro.
- Community respect. We practice together in a spirit of mutual support. When you play in a group, you are part of that fabric; and when you play in public, you are an ambassador for us all. Be prepared to adapt your attitude and play style to the context and agreements of the event at which you’re practicing. If it’s a high-level training session held in gym with plenty of safety equipment, that’s a good place to work on your most challenging material. If it’s a casual jam, or an unforgiving environment, or a place where your actions could reflect poorly on the group, stick to safer material. When an event organizer asks you to adjust what you’re doing for the good of the group, please do so.
- Treatment of New Acroyogis. New community members are our future. Treat them with kindness and a spirit of inclusion, and if you’re qualified, consider teaching them a thing or two. Please only teach a level of acro they can fully understand, participate in as a partner, and for which they can provide informed consent. Remember they will often attempt this material later without you, so don’t show them things way out of their skill level.
Even the most basic acro is a multi-person activity, so building and maintaining relationships with one another is key to what we do. Refining these skills can be a lifetime practice, but here’s a non-exhaustive list to help you get started.
- Acro is a close activity. Be clean! (But stay away from heavily-scented products.)
- Trim your nails! Fingers and toes!
- Breath matters. Just sayin’.
- Tie back long hair.
- You’ll get sweaty. Make good use of a towel. Consider lying on one when you L-base.
- Lotions, sunscreens, and massage oils make you slippery, so avoid them if you’re going to be doing acro.
- Bases: Take good care of your feet. You’ll be amazed what a difference a simple foot file and a little lotion can make. Your flyers will thank you.
- Baggy clothing, untucked shirts, and pockets can hook fingers and toes. Snug, non-slippery, movement-friendly clothing is best.
- Jewelry can snag or cut yourself or your partner, compromise grip, and also get broken. It’s best to leave it at home.
- Gonna wear tights? Make sure they’re completely opaque, even when stretched. Trust us on this one.
- Communication and Empathy
- Be in the moment with your partner. When you let the connection become secondary to the technique you’re trying to nail, the photo you’re trying to get, or the person you’d rather be playing with, you’re robbing both of you of the rich experience you could be having.
- You won’t be able to do everything you know with every partner, but you can find an interesting and fun way to play with almost anyone. Look past your expectations – who knows what you might discover!
- Stay away from comments about weight, size, or ability. Focus on what you can do together, and build from there.
- Be especially mindful of uneven power dynamics, and don’t use them to push people into material and situations to which they’d having trouble saying “no”.
- Use your words. Be kind, and think about the long-term impact of what you say. If you don’t feel you’re being listened to, don’t be afraid to firmly speak your truth.
- Learn to gracefully receive a “no”. The best response is a smiling “Okay”, and an invitation to find something that works for the both of you, or an open invitation to play another time.
- Stay away from giving “firehose feedback”, especially when it’s full of the word “you”: “You’re doing this wrong, and that wrong, and you should be doing this other thing.” Reshape this into smaller discussions, and ask what you can do together to help things.
- Listen to what your partner’s body is telling you. If their words are saying “yes” but their body is saying “no”, it’s best to err on the side of caution.
Can’t get enough? Check out our blog post: Teamwork & Responsibility in Acro.