Indiana & Yoga Magazine Summer 2016 Issue 1 | Page 14

COMMUNIT Y Acro Yoga in Indy Acro Yoga, is a playful union between two or more people who incorporate elements of physical acrobatics into dance-like motions and intricate poses. The Indianapolis Acro Yoga scene began to blossom in 2011, when Jessalyn Oxford started building a community of likeminded individuals who were not only interested in mindfulness and yoga, but also these combined arts of human interaction. Oxford, along with her friends Brandon Rutten, Paula Berbeco and Jason Coleman, trained in local parks and private homes to hone her skills in Acro Yoga. They worked together weekly, and the group eventually outgrew the capacity of private sessions, so they began to host Sunday “jam sessions.” The Acro Yoga Community blossomed from there. Oxford continued her acro education by traveling to national workshops. The Community garnered media attention from outlets such as Indy Star and USA Today. That was the perfect storm! Her workshops evolved into demos and performances at athletic stores and local studios. With all the media attention, the Acro Yoga Community were asked in 2013 to perform at Indy’s annual 12 Monumental Yoga event, which they have done every year since. In March of 2015, business partners Kimberly Hart and Ron Hopkins decided to take one of Oxford’s workshops. They were impressed and knew Acro Yoga was something they would pursue passionately. Oxford later decided to leave Indianapolis to pursue her acro passion full time, so Indy was in need of new leadership of the Acro Yoga Community. The Community has since flourished around Hart and Hopkins. Hart has practiced Yoga passionately for six years. She is a very accomplished, dedicated and mindful Yogini who obtained her yoga teacher certification through YogaWorks in Los Angeles in 2015. Hart fosters the development of the Indy acro scene in her teaching at Lifetime Fitness, attending and setting up local Acro Yoga jams, festivals, workshops, and private teaching sessions throughout the Central Indiana area, as well as during her national travels nationally. Since his introduction to Acro Yoga in March of 2015, Hopkins has been busy learning, practicing, and teaching acro By Nichol Kirby yoga. His background in community enrichment as well as his involvement in charitable organizations, makes him the perfect teammate for Hart in assuring that the Acro Yoga Community in Indianapolis stays on its feet. Hopkins is on the Board of Mighty Lotus, which is a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working with Indianapolis Public Schools to bring yoga to students. He is tasked with arranging the Monumental Yoga Pre-Party and organizing performers for Monumental Yoga 2016, which will take place on June 17 and June 21, respectively. Hart and Hopkins not only foster the development of Acro Yoga, but they are also encouraging of all the flow arts, such as poi, fire spinning, fan work, slackline, juggling, hooping and more. They are focused on building a united flow arts community. For information on current Acro Yoga and flow jams, please refer to the Facebook page for “Ebb & Flow– Indy.” Current jam locations are the War Memorial on the Canal downtown, Broadway United Methodist Church, Broad Ripple Park, and the annual summer solstice event, Monumental Yoga. ■ INDIANA & YOGA MAGAZINE ISSUE I