A few weeks ago I did a photoshoot for Vuori Clothing in Encinitas, California. I was paired up with Daniel to do a quick AcroYoga bit, but little did I know it would be so much fun. Trusting someone to toss you over their feet and hang you upside down with your head pointing straight at the ground is a little nutso. Yet Daniel has a way of making you feel completely comfortable and at-ease. His demeanor is warm, open and calm. AcroYoga is an art that he has mastered and his passion for it is evident in the beautiful shots we got that day. We hope you enjoy getting to know him and mark your calendars for his workshop on April 25th, 2015 at Buddhi Yoga La Jolla.
How did you get into AcroYoga?
Easy answer: Some friends of mine had just finished teacher training and convinced me to take some classes. It sure looked fun, and I wanted to try something new.
Real Talk: After a decade rat-racing in NYC, everything bored me— and as such, everything became a distraction from something else. The only thing that really spoke to me was my ashtanga practice, and even that was getting tedious. I hated my job, nothing made any sense and I was tired of feigning gratitude. When the woman I loved left me in search of her own calling, a huge hole was torn in the delicate net of comfortable denial I’d worked so hard to create. Do I try and repair the tear, or do I just let go and see where I end up?
I chose the latter and left everything behind to join those same friends on a three month trip around India. They were going to volunteer at acupuncture clinics and teach AcroYoga. I figured if I was going to assist them, I should start taking classes and learning more. By the end of those first three months, I realized that my journey had just begun. There was little choice other than to continue training until I became a teacher, so I could share with the world a practice that inspired me to TRUST… to take control by letting go.
What makes it hard to fly someone? What makes it easy?
It all comes down to trust, and trust is a journey everyone has to take. Confidence makes every step more solid, knowledge gives us direction, experience paves the road. Some people are more adept to trust others without seeing or any previous experience because they trust themselves. Others are slower to develop trust than others. Size doesn’t matter. Everyone is both a flyer and a base— partnership is balance between giving and receiving, and AcroYoga is a great way to develop that awareness.
Tell us one funny thing that has happened when doing Acro.
Teaching with a translator is always good fun, because humor often doesn’t translate well and I like to tell bad jokes. During a class in Seoul a few years back, my translator refused to tell my joke to the class. We stood there for a few seconds, silent and staring at each other in front of about 40 eager students.
“Why won’t you just tell the joke?”
Because… it’s not funny.
“Just tell the joke.”
But nobody will laugh!
“I’m used to it.”
She tells the joke. Silence. She turns to me, mortified.
“Now tell them that was a joke.”
Seconds later, an eruption of laughter behind covered mouths. After class, she asked me how I knew they were going to laugh.
“I didn’t. I just hoped you’d sell it. Nice job!”
I don’t remember if she came back to translate the next session.
Tell us about your mustache because we are obsessed.
On New Year’s Eve of 2009/2010, I was about a month into a “beard-off” with a friend of mine. It was a race to see who could look more like Cat Stevens, and I was loosing despite my best efforts. When midnight hit, I decided to try growing a full-on mustache for a whole year just to see what happens. It stuck, and as such, namastache was born.
Will I ever shave it off— who knows? Do you ask people with tattoos if they will ever remove them? He signifies a major landmark in my life— turing 30, deciding to really commit to being a yoga teacher, embracing my masculine side, and truly expressing what I want.
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