SUMMERSIDE – It was love at first pose for Emma Quann Flavell and aerial yoga.
“I’ve been practising yoga for about five years and teaching on and off for three. And now I’ve fallen in love with aerial yoga,” said the Summerside native.
Aerial yoga, or anti-gravity yoga, combines traditional yoga poses with dance and Pilates movements while suspended in silks (hammocks).
On a recent vacation to Costa Rica, with her boyfriend James Manning, Quann Flavell travelled to Dominical after participating in a class at the hostel they were staying in. The teacher had mentioned she would be hosting training series for the unique yoga practice there.
“I felt I could connect more with my movements. It made me really present in what I was doing. Sometimes in regular yoga practice it can feel like you’re just going through the motions, but with aerial yoga you have to be really focused and present because your body is floating in the air and you’re using every part of your body.”
Quann Flavell says travelling to a different part of Costa Rica for training wasn’t in their plan but felt that it was meant to be. She is now a certified aerial yoga instructor.
Now she plans to bring it to Summerisde to Manning’s business, The Paddle Shack.
“It’s something that can be practised by anybody of any skill set. Part of the practice is on the floor, another part suspended in the silks and then we finish with Savasana.
“It can help people with back issues because it allows the decompression of the spine. It also helps lengthen ligaments and relax muscles.”
It’s also an intense core workout, she said with a laugh.
“It takes so much balance, and I think that’s why it really requires participants to be present and centre on their movements poses.”
She hopes to start teaching classes of about five at the Paddle Shack as soon as the weather begins to warm up.
“I want small class sizes, so it can allow a more one-on-one experience and teaching method. I also hope to do it in a series of four or six weeks, with one class a week. That way there is a real focus on the experience and getting all of the practice time possible.”
She also said she would be interested in teaching private lessons of aerial yoga.
“I’m not counting anything out. I think this will be a great addition to Summerside and I’m really looking forward to focusing on traditional yoga poses in the practice of aerial yoga.”
Quann Flavell suggests wearing tight fitting clothing and no jewelry as to not snag the silks or get tangled in them.
“The fabric of the silks is high intensity nylon and can hold up to 2,000 pounds. Its’s very versatile, but also very expensive. I don’t want to cut corners by getting a cheap version of it because they won’t last as long. I’m really excited to get this off the ground.”