CircuSoul’s Aerial Yoga Program Takes Flight
Oct 31, 2014 11:09PM
By Suzi Harkola
Walk into Sarasota’s CircuSoul Yoga studio on any given day of the week, and you will find owner Kerry Tice suspended from a brightly-hued aerial yoga hammock of his own design and manufacture, most likely leading a room of equally-suspended yogis through a flowing series of basic poses, like downward dog, forward fold and plank, his voice ringing out over the giggles and gasps of momentary surprise. This is aerial yoga: a classic, often simple yoga practice envisioned in a whole new way with the assistance of sleek but strong aerial silk, which can hold the whole body while supine, or support its entire weight in total suspension.
The usual benefits of yoga—strength, flexibility, focus and increased breath awareness—attract new flyers to CircuSoul, but the unique benefits of aerial yoga and the studio’s signature hammock draw them back. One of the biggest benefits of aerial yoga, according to studio owner, teacher trainer and hammock designer, Tice, is its ability to create a safe environment for students to invert their bodies.
“Yoga inversions, like headstand, handstand and forearm stand, have played a powerful role in yoga for many years, but many of the poses are not accessible to the average person,” explains Tice. By supporting inverted positions, from downward dog to handstand, the aerial hammock allows even entry-level users the benefits of inversions, such as decreased blood pressure, more efficient lymph and venous flow, and healthier lung tissue.
Tice so believes in the beneficial effects of aerial yoga that he has assembled a diverse group of teachers and created the first Aerial Yoga Teacher Training program on the East Coast to be approved by Yoga Alliance, the national credentialing organization for the yoga community. His program is only the second aerial teacher training to gain YA accreditation in the nation. His teacher training program, designed to be held in modular format, consists of a total of 288 hours of study, 112 of those hours spent in the hammock under the supervision of a teacher, with seven weekends devoted solely to exploring flight. Students will also obtain a thorough grounding in yoga philosophy, therapeutic alignment, meditation and pranayama, as well as experience numerous different styles of yoga with the support of the hammock.
The hammock, the center of it all, was born of Tice’s history in the circus and his experimentation with similar products. Fusing functionality with comfort, Tice’s design is created to offer multiple modalities of support, allowing the hammock to assist poses as diverse as supine restorative backbends or barely-supported arm balances. Built in-house and sold on Etsy, Amazon and Ebay, the hammocks have shipped to China and Sweden, as well as studios throughout the United States. They hang now from the limbs of trees, on shady porches and in zen bedrooms, providing color and inspiration to yogis of all ages, from toddlers to seniors.
CircuSoul offers both public and private yoga and workshops in a diversity of styles, such as aerial, yin, restorative, hatha and ashtanga. Yoga Therapy and Thai Yoga Massage are available upon request. CircuSoul Yoga’s first RYT200 in aerial yoga begins January 2015.
Location: 4141 S Tamiami Trail #6, Sarasota. Visit CircuSoul.com for more information.