Acroyoga: Hips on the Ground, Head in the Clouds

7
Acroyoga Busan

Amy-Louise Brassington is soaring over Inkyu Jung, spinning around in circles, twisting up and down as if in a washing machine. Her head drops down, nearly crashing into his knees; her feet fly upwards towards the sky. Suddenly, their hands push against each other for stability and she looks down at him, locking eyes, his feet supporting her hips. In acroyoga, this is called the ‘barrel roll.’ It’s both terrifying and enthralling to watch.

Acroyoga, a form of movement combining yoga and acrobatics, has taken off on the Peninsula over the past two years. It was initially introduced to Busan yogis during Yoga Festa in 2013, and, shortly after that, it became a staple class at Kaizen, a yoga and strength-training studio in KSU.

The practice of acroyoga typically features three primary roles: a base, who supports from a position on the ground; a flyer, who’s usually in the air, balancing on the base; and a spotter, who stands closely by to help move the other two into position and catch a falling flyer. Acroyogis, sometimes referred to as ‘birds,’ rotate through the roles during a practice – despite the occasional discrepancy in size among team members.

“There’s something really empowering about somebody feeling weightless. I mean, we live in a world where people in general are very conscious of their size. [Acroyoga] kind of takes that and makes people reassess that.”

Mindy Sisco, co-owner of Kaizen, says that expectations about the body shapes and sizes of a typical acro team are being thrown out the window in Busan.

“Fortunately, our community’s really good about moving away from these established roles of big, strong male bases and tiny little female flyers,” Sisco says. “I think those traditional definitions aren’t necessarily applicable. There’s something really empowering about somebody feeling weightless. I mean, we live in a world where people in general are very conscious of their size. [Acroyoga] kind of takes that and makes people reassess that. I think having a 250-pound guy upside down on your feet – he’s definitely revisiting his ideas of self.”

Acroyoga Busan

Brassington, who started taking acro classes last year, says, “I think a lot of people’s initial reactions when I tell them to try it is that they could never do that … because they believe they are too big to fly or not strong enough to base. But acroyoga really is for anyone.”

Acro brings together not only all physical forms of people but also those with a variety of backgrounds and nationalities who come to take part – with little talking required. Working with groups and partners can move the focus of a practice from the self and into more of a trusting, team-building form of movement.

Sisco says, “I think it’s really cool with acro how there’s a nonverbal communication that’s happening. There’s a physical response. There’s this interplay that’s happening between two people.”

Simon Kang, Sisco’s business partner at Kaizen, has a background in Brazilian jiujitsu. He says acroyoga is similar to martial arts, but the views he previously held of teamwork and trust have completely changed since starting acro.

“Martial arts is technically, ‘we are friends; we’re the same team,’ but the thing is always and only: try to kill each other. This – acroyoga – it changed my perspective with relationships,” he says.

Acroyoga Busan

It seems everyone discovering acroyoga has learned to embrace this unique form of movement.

“It’s so simple,” says Sisco, “but we don’t move, and we’re so scared to dance … we’re so scared of our movements. Acro gives you the space to move. You’re given this freedom to be inside your own skin.”

“You just have to let go,” says Kara Bemis, acro enthusiast and local yoga teacher. “It depends on how much I trust the base, but usually it’s playful and fun.”

For those interested in acroyoga, Bemis says, “I would definitely take a class, not just try it from YouTube tutorials – because it can be dangerous. You don’t want to land on your tooth or something. Learn from someone who knows. And always have a spotter.”


 Kaizen, located near Art Box in KSU, offers a four-week series of acroyoga classes for all levels each month. Visit www.kaizenkorea.com or www.acroyogakorea.com for more information.

Photos by Kaizen and Nina Staer Nathan

The Latest Haps

NewsEntertainmentLifestyleFood/DrinkTravelSports
legos

First Official Lego Store Opens in Korea

Lego will open it first official store in South Korea’s first LEGO Store at the Hyundai Department Store just south of Seoul, this Friday the company announced.

0 comments
kia-breaks-record-in-america

Kia Breaks Sales Record in US for 7th Straight Month

Kia Motors America continues to break records in sales for the division as sales in November reached a total of 52,504 units, a 15.3 percent increase over the same period last year. The brand’s seventh monthly sales record.

0 comments
nurimaru

Busan to Host Forum for East Asian-Latin American Cooperation in 2017

Foreign ministers of East Asian and Central and South American countries will gather in Busan next May.

0 comments
Image: YouTube

SNL Korea Women Under Fire for Groping Male Hosts

Some female cast members of SNL Korea are under fire after a video of them sexually grabbing a popular K-pop boy bands genitals has sparked outrage on Korean social media.

0 comments
Image: YouTube

Have Your Say: Do You Like Busan’s Newest Branding Video?

The City of Busan has released its newest branding film entitled “Busan Brand Film” in hopes of promoting the city domestically and internationally.

0 comments
tv

China Slaps Ban on Korean Shows, Entertainers

The Chinese government has placed a ban on all Korean entertainment activities in the country in retaliation for Korea’s plans to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in July.

0 comments
microphone

Monthly Ha Ha Hole Returns Saturday

Busan’s first, best, and only open mic comedy night returns tonight for its May edition at HQ Bar in KSU.

0 comments
birthday

Old Before My Time: The Concept of Korean Age

As an international traveler, you are used to the idea of various countries using different measures to refer to the same thing.

0 comments
xmas gift

Annual BIWA Christmas Bazaar Returns Saturday

The annual Busan International Women’s Association’s “Christmas Bazaar” returns once again Saturday, December 3, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Haeundae Grand Hotel 2nd Floor.

0 comments
korean-bbq

Eat Like a Local: Kim Siljang Charcoal BBQ

With many Korean BBQ places to choose from in the city, Kim Siljang Charcoal BBQ is a great, affordable place near Gwangan Beach.

0 comments
Image: Korea Ginseng Corportation

7-11 Rolls Out New “Red Ginseng Triangle Kimbap”

Convenience store 7-11 has rolled out a nutritious option to its quick food grab line with a “Red Ginseng Chicken Breast” triangle kimbap.

0 comments
Burger-and-Pasta

Burger & Pasta to Open Seomyeon Location

Burger & Pasta will open their newest location in Seomyeon in mid-December according to the company.

0 comments
The sun sets on the gorgeous French countryside.

Self-Guided Food Tours in France – Check out this Interactive Guide

France is renowned for its creative use of fresh market produce, and our hoteliers pride themselves on serving fare of the highest standard. Enjoy delicious food and elegant wines as you recall the highlights of the day.

0 comments
marinabaysandsinterior

24 Hours at the Marina Bay Sands Singapore

Marine Bay Sands in Singapore has become the standard for not only luxury, but also noted as the place to go if you’re on a vacation to the southeast Asian tourist mecca.

0 comments
Image: YouTube/NBC

Themed Tours of Busan: Choose Your Own Adventure in the City

Busan has a ton of great attractions to meet your tourist needs. Dynamic Busan Magazine introduces a few great places to get you started.

0 comments
tennis

Korea’s First Indoor Tennis Facility to Open in Sajik-dong

Busan Sports Council says that it will test-operate the Busan Indoor Tennis Facility in Sajik-dong for free starting today for 16 days to celebrate its opening.

0 comments
Image: FeelDesain

German Citizen to Join Korean Olympic Luge Team

Just in time for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, the South Korean luge team is about to get a German import.

0 comments
4-5-1

Where to Lace Up The Skates in Busan

In winter, ice skating and sledding can actually make you feel that the best sports and outdoor activities can be had when it’s cold outside. Following is a list of the ice rinks that allow visitors to enjoy winter at reasonable prices.

0 comments

 

Comments

comments