My First Flight with Eric Menze.
Anchorage, AK; 2011
Elysabeth Williamson and I
Gray Bear Lodge, TN; 2013.
My co-conspirator, Georgi Gardiner and I
Market Square, Knoxville, TN; 2016
How it all started
Ehric Menze was the first person to put me on his feet since my Mother had when I was a kid. It was in the summer of 2011 at a house party in Anchorage, Alaska where I was living at the time. One perch in Throne and I was hooked. After, I was able to convince my flexible, ballerina roommate Jhene Rozak to practice with me daily. This involved months of great laughter as we attempted poses from photos we collected on Pinterest. Then it happened. Through a friend I found out that there was an actual group in Anchorage that met up weekly and practiced. So, I spent the next few years playing with them. We jammed at different studios that offered us space, at parks, and in each other's living rooms. As our community grew, the core members of the group (including myself) started teaching beginners.
Teaching in New Zealand
Taking my practice on the road
When I left Alaska in 2013 and started traveling, I took my first official AcroYoga workshop with Lux and Josh Young in Seattle, WA. Other than this experience, I was surprised to find that there weren't many acro groups in other places I traveled. So, I started unofficially teaching classes and workshops while on the road. I was willing to teach anyone willing to mount my feet: at random studios, yoga retreat centers, gyms and even in parks. At this point, it was clear to me that AcroYoga was a deep passion of mine, and I felt destined to share it with others. Since I had no official training, I taught these classes and workshops as a volunteer.
In 2014, I moved to Wellington, New Zealand where I connected with AcroYoga Wellington. For several months, I played with this group weekly and developed some beautiful friendships. To help grow the community, I assisted teaching at jams and at regional festivals. In mid-2015, I began my trek on the South Island, where I connected with Mary Jo Halligan at the Vibrant Living Retreat Center. She brought me on as an independent contractor to teach a series of monthly acro yoga workshops.
When I moved to Christchurch in June 2015, I started assistant teaching a weekly class for Maira Raimondi at Antigravity Yoga Studio. I also connected with the acro group at Canterbury University and taught a class for the first hour of each jam.
Teaching AcroYoga is my calling. The practice embodies core principles that I strongly stand by in my personal life and am passionate about sharing with others: communication, partnership, trust, and personal transformation. Returning from New Zealand, my path has led me to create a space and an environment for an AcroYoga Community to take root here Knoxville.
In the Spring of 2016 I set up AcroKnox: Knoxville's AcroYoga Community. Through this group, I hope others can explore the mindfulness of yoga, the power of positive play, and the deliciousness of Thai massage.
As the end of my visa approached, I felt a strong pull drawing me back to East Tennessee. After five years of living in Alaska, three on the road, and one in New Zealand, I know that Knoxville is where my heart wants to be. I am ready to set down roots, invest in my community, and build lasting relationships. I am so excited also to be close to my sister, the Smoky Mountains, and my family at Tickleberry Manor Goats.
AcroYoga in Knoxville, TN
In December 2015, I completed my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Certification Training at the Asheville Yoga Center in North Carolina. This experience deepened my yoga practice and expanded my skill set as an instructor, exponentially.
In the Spring of 2016, I attended two 30-hour AcroYoga Immersion trainings. The connections and awareness I experienced in these touched at the very core of why I am drawn to AcroYoga and solidified why I feel compelled to offer this practice to my community. Also, the tools I obtained provided me with a solid foundation for both my current practice and my class offerings.
In 2017, I completed the AcroYoga International Teacher Training program in Mexico where I received both my AcroYoga Teaching Certification and AY FIT certification. After teaching for over three years, this training reignited my love for everything the practices offers and provided me with tools and support to take my community to the next level.