It was yoga that broke me. I went for a bind my first year of practice trying to win a "bind-off" against the girl next to me that was happening entirely in my head. Mine alone. Then POP. I did nearly irreparable damage to my back that stills require ongoing management 12 years later.
What I needed in yoga more than anything, was to feel together rather than against. This need grew proportionately with my time practicing- both as a teacher and a student. Partner-focused practice has radically transformed my classes, my students and me. Over time playing with AcroYoga, I saw the impact of people being interdependent in class rather than a group of individuals doing personal practice side-by-side. Yoga in its highest form is union. In other forms, we sweat. We laugh. We struggle. We bend. We break. On a good day, yoga gives us the gusto to try. On a great day, it gives us the moxie to stare in the face of both the sweet and the sour. On the best days, we grow wings to rise above all the destruction compounding around us and find something beautiful beyond. Acroyoga goes even further yoking the dynamism and delicacy of individuals together and says: don't just find something beautiful; create something beautiful by putting the pieces together. It comes together. We come together. And we realize, we are better together.
It is in this spirit that I have developed Kaizen's AcroYoga Architects Program (AA). It aims to pull back from AcroYoga as spectacle and use its fundamentals as tool for building and connecting communities: across experiential, linguistic and cultural boundaries.
AA starts with the base of yoga. My "Kaizen Yoga" is far from my own. It is a practice influenced by many teachers over the years focused on applying yoga therapeutically: be that application physical, mental or emotional. From there, AA integrates AcroYoga principles of community building, cooperative learning with an emphasis on physical feedback and exploring movement beyond the confines of traditional yoga practice. Finally, we use this collaboration to start impacting our smaller individual communities. This impact may be specifically AcroYoga focused or may take the principles of empowerment and connection and apply them in a way we never imagined possible!
I am very proud to announce that this program has been reviewed by the powers that be at AcroYoga Montreal: my teachers, mentors and inspirations Jessie, Eugene, Jill and Heidi. Through some edits and follow-up clarifications, this program was granted approval by AYM and will be its first affiliated preparation program. This part is particularly significant for me. Rather than mailing off a syllabus of hours to an organization that doesn't know me from Adam, I carry the weight of representing myself with integrity to AYM whose opinion I hold in high esteem and whose reputation I'm responsible for upholding in the face of prospective students. This is a responsibility I take to heart.
I look forward to seeing and promoting the continued growth and development of AcroYoga both here in Korea and beyond wherever the Architects may take it!