Calling all acroyogis to USD
Acroyoga has come to USD this Spring and is seeking all acro-yogis on campus
ASST. FEATURE EDITOR
A University of San Diego undergraduate and graduate student are working together in hopes of bringing a new club to campus that combines fitness, relaxation, and play.
The practice they want to bring to USD is called acroyoga, which is a mixture of acrobatics, yoga, and massage. The intersection of these creates a series of physically and mentally challenging poses. There is no background in gymnastics or circus arts needed, acroyoga is for every body.
Acroyoga is typically done in pairs with a base who supports the duo and a flyer who is elevated by the base. Many people begin the practice by communicating and building trust with their partner before going into any acroyoga poses. For more advanced positions, a spotter helps to ensure the flyer’s safety too.
The duo that is bringing acroyoga to USD is Steven Cummings and Savana Blair.
Cummings is a first semester graduate student working on his Masters of Science in Global Leadership through the School of Business Administration. He was trained as a yoga instructor in Dharamsala, India and then discovered acroyoga while volunteering as an English teacher in Bali.
“When I was an undergraduate in Virginia, I’d never even heard of acroyoga,” Cummings said.
He explained that his favorite part is the playfulness of the sport. While traditional yoga is a very individual practice of exploring the limits of your body while building strength and flexibility, acroyoga has unique social benefits.
“During yoga, a practitioner is often tuned inward, channeling a deep sense of internal expression onto the mat,” Cummings said. “Acroyoga has a much more playful atmosphere, people are laughing and trying to grasp new concepts together through a partnership of two or more people.”
Savana Blair is the flyer of the pair and a double major in Electrical Engineering and Biophysics in her fourth of five years at USD. She was introduced to acroyoga two years ago by a friend and began regularly practicing a year and a half ago.
Like Cummings, Blair enjoys the teamwork in acroyoga that isn’t found in any other form of yoga.
“I really enjoy the collaborative aspect of acroyoga,” Blair said. “You get to build strength, flexibility, and trust with others while growing your acroyoga practice.”
Blair noted some of the physical and mental benefits of acroyoga too.
“It helps to increase flexibility, strength, body mindfulness, and concentration while decreasing stress,” Blair said.
All of these benefits have made the practice extremely popular in Southern California. San Diego has one of the largest acroyoga communities in the country. Though there are lots of acroyoga classes in San Diego, more popular are acroyoga jams. A jam is a meetup of acroyogis typically outdoors in a grassy area.
“San Diego has one of the most ample acroyoga communities,” Blair said. “There are weekly classes and jams that anyone can attend.”
Every Wednesday there is a jam on the Newport Street greens in Ocean Beach and every Saturday there is one at Ariel Revolution, just a down the hill from USD. Students won’t even have to go that far because Blair and Cummings are also organizing jams on the USD campus.
“Now that it’s become such a fun part of my life that I felt a strong calling to help others get a taste of the magic,” Cummings said. “At USD we have all this beautiful weather and outdoor green space, plus a phenomenal campus ambience, it’s the perfect place for acroyoga to grow and bring mirthful exuberance to the student body.”
The first USD acroyoga jam will be Thursday, March 5 during dead hours on the green space outside of Aromas. All students are welcome to attend and should wear appropriate clothes and bring a yoga mat. There will be experienced acroyogis to help teach and play with everyone including beginners.