Elizabeth Burris, CFF Staff
Elizabeth (M.S., RYT-200) received her AcroYoga teaching certification with the Australia Kula under the guidance of Jason Nemer, Bonnie Argo, and Katie Capano. Along with creating a playful atmosphere to explore the kid at heart, she believes AcroYoga can be a vehicle for healing and life changing transformations. Her goal as an instructor is to create a safe place to build trusting partnerships, cultivate receptiveness, facilitate community connectedness, and encourage people to just have fun! She is extremely grateful to have the ability to share AcroYoga with anyone and anywhere as the practice has had a profound impact on her life. This could mean teaching the playful side of acrobatics and advance washing machines or poses that support the healing powers of Thai massage. In whatever manner, Elizabeth believes that the core power of AcroYoga lies in the connection built between two people or the community that engages in the practice. She is confident that any side of AcroYoga will teach you quickly about life - about communication, trust, letting go, celebration, and ultimately change it, in the best way possible.
Jennifer Leisch, CFF Staff
Jen is a certified Level 2 AcroYoga teacher and vinyasa yoga teacher, with a background in bouldering, gymnastics, running, backpacking, and playing outside.
Her love of AcroYoga is rooted in the playfulness of the practice – and extends into the trust, positive communication, and deep healing it creates. Her classes are playful and empowering with a dose of humor – she is both your fiercest coach and biggest cheerleader!
Justin Blazejewski, CFF Staff
Justin began practicing yoga to help with a back injury he received while serving in the Marine Corps. He quickly realized the physical benefits of yoga when his back pain disappeared completely. After months of diving into a daily yoga practice, Justin then attended a yoga/kirtan retreat in Bali with Alanna Kaivalya and Dave Stringer that was the turning point in his spiritual practice. Soon after Justin found his guru Sri Dharma Mittra and immediately enrolled in the “DMY Life of a Yogi” teacher training in NYC to deepen his practice. Justin is a RTY-200 and 800 hour certified Dharma Mittra Yoga teacher and is grateful to teach in the spirit of his guru.
After 5 years of teaching yoga Justin found an unexpected playfulness and personal healing in Acro Yoga. After several immersions Justin attended the Acro Yoga Teacher Training program in Australia where he earned his Acro Yoga Teaching certification. He now hopes to spread and cultivate the playful and therapeutic aspects Acro Yoga to everyone. Justin’s classes consist of the Dharma’s or Acro Yoga asana sequences, acrobatic, therapeutics, Thai massage, pranayama, mediation, and Yoga Nidra. Justin strives to embody the humble energy of his teacher Sri Dharma and share playfulness, healing, love and light through all his teachings.
Eleanor has been teaching yoga for six years, and practicing yoga since the age of six! Her studies have taken her around the globe, and she has been blessed to study with incredible teachers, like Iyengar, Rodney Yee, Don and Amba Stapleton, Jane Fryer, the Anusara crew, and of course the Acro kula!
AcroYoga has been a transformational experience in her life teaching her how to trust, communicate her needs, access strength, and fly. She loves sharing the practice with everyone she meets- everyone! She enjoys bringing playfulness and awareness to the mat, sharing a class that leaves each student refreshed.
Greg is a Level 2 Certified AcroYoga Teachr, AcroYoga Immersion Teacher and a member of the AcroYoga Teacher Training Assistant team. He holds 350-hours of Vinyasa & Hatha yoga certifications, as well as certifications in various modalities of healing and bodywork.
Greg finds the potential for self-discovery, empowerment, transformation and fun in community that the practice of AcroYoga embodies ever-present and inspiring. He strives to make the work accessible to all who are willing and interested to give it a try, and invites you to come take a chance and spread your wings!
Jean-Jacques is a Haitian-born artist, yoga teacher and father living in Philadelphia and facilitating transformational workshops and Immersions worldwide. he found yoga while at art school more than a dozen years ago, and has delighted in consistent practice and study since. in both, art making and yoga, he honors the power of creative ritual. Jean-Jacques studied Ashtangta in Southern India, receiving his first yoga teacher certification in 2007, and became a certified AcroYoga teacher in 2008. he completed an Anusara teacher training in 2011, and recently studied YogaHour with Darren Rhodes. he is a Level 2 AcroYoga instructor, and teaches immersions, workshops and classes that foster play, power, pliability and presence. Jean-Jacques loves how AcroYoga reminds us that joy, strength and sensitivity grow when we create and collaborate in dynamic partnership
Christine Hebestadt is a former professional dancer, teacher, choreographer, model and actor with over 30 years of experience. Very early in her career she received a long-term scholarship from the city of Munich, Germany for a supporting education for highly gifted students of classical ballet. Additional to her classical ballet education she studied Modern. Jazz and Yoga. Christine performed and worked with various Dance Companies in Europe and was a member of the German TV Ballet. Furthermore she performed with famous artists like Michael Jackson (Dangerous World Tour), Will Smith, Backstreet Boys, Harald Faltermeier, Tom Jones, and Culture Beat (World Tour), just to highlight some. Additionally, she choreographed modern, jazz, and ballet performances, dance and fashion shows for Nike, Adidas, L.A. Gear, Gatorade, Willy Bogner etc. and successfully performed in commercials for Biodroga Cosmetics, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Konica… Christine also had some valuable experience in the film business and acted in the well-known movie “Neverending Story II”. She was born and raised in Munich, Germany and moved to the US in 2000.
Shana Hornstein starting practicing AcroYoga in 2008 in Phoenix, AZ. Over the course of the next three years she attended regular workshops with Jason and Chelsey Magness of the Yogaslackers in Tucson, AZ. After moving to Philadelphia in 2011, Shana applied and was accepted to the AcroYoga Montreal teacher training, which she completed in the summer of 2012. Shana has taught workshops in Arizona, Delaware, Philadelphia and at the Dutch Acrobatics festival. She enjoys attending acro festivals around the world and studying with lots of different teachers.
It all began in 2007 when I was at a teacher training in Montana that I got my first taste of AcroYoga. After my first flight, I was instantly in love with the practice. Upon returning home to Boston, my search for AcroYoga led me to Bonnie Argo, and knew I had found a home in AcroYoga. I have the deepest appreciation for Bonnie planting these initial seeds within me and giving me the love and guidance throughout my journey that led me to becoming a Certified AcroYoga teacher in September 2010. I am eternally grateful. Acroyoga allows the playfulness in each of us to shine bright. The balance of acrobatics, Thai massage and yoga do wonders to heal not only our bodies, but our hearts and our minds as well. I am truly grateful for the amazing AcroYoga Community and the powerful connections we tap into every time we play together and share this practice. It doesn't get much better than when I get to play on my hands or have someone play on my feet! In addition to AcroYoga, I am a Senior Certified Baptiste Power Yoga Teacher and teach at the Boston area Baptiste Studios. I thank Jenny & Jason for creating and maintaining this sacred practice for all of us. Your wisdom and integrity is unparalleled. I thank my brothers and sisters of the AcroYoga Family who support me in always seeing the highest potential in each other and in all moments, I love you all!
Aaron is a renowned teacher of partner acrobatics and an advocate for empowerment through partnership! He has been fascinated by movement-based practices since childhood, which led to many thousands of hours of playful exploration. Aaron has explored and trained many thousands of hours of handstand, gymnastic movement, yoga, and partner acrobatics. He is also a musician, holding an MFA in Jazz Studies and a burlesque artist trained in the New Orleans tradition. He brings a creative flair to his offerings and invites students to cultivate performance as a natural extension of skill-based practice.
Aaron brings all of his artistic talents into his teaching. His classes are inclusive, playful, and fun, while remaining grounded in practical and well-tested training methodology. His ability to articulate sophisticated movements in anatomical and action-oriented language creates a powerful learning environment for students to access deeper levels of refined embodiment. Aaron’s intention for teaching is to cultivate empowerment, confidence, and artistic expression in the dedicated student! What he loves about teaching is seeing students exceed their own expectations!
Gracy is a yoga teacher, retreat leader, and Thai yoga therapy practitioner in Washington, DC. Her speciality teaching love and kindness through healing touch. She believes that through practicing love everyday, we live our way into our true purpose with ease. Gracy's thoughtful and practical application of yoga and Thai massage continue to evolve and transform many lives.
Gracy is a 500-hour registered yoga teacher, completing both her 200 hour (August 2009) and 300 hour (June 2012) trainings through YogaWorks. She’s studied Ayurveda since 2011 through Lotus Palm and Cate Stillman. Since 2009, she has received over 125 hours of formal Thai massage training, domestically through Lotus Palm, Jen Yarro, and Vanessa King and Nha Ja in Thailand. She leads several domestic and international yoga retreats a year, is a professional photographer, and write a widely-read blog on the topics of yoga, health and sensible spiritually. Her life is her work, but in the down moments Gracy loves discovering new music, scouring thrift stores for awesomeness and taking long walks with her introverted rescue terrier Poncho.
Lex Peters is a software engineer, gymnastics coach, partner dance instructor and partner acrobat with over 15 years of experience. Lex started partner acrobats in 1997 while studying the Lindyhop. His long-time interest in partner acrobatics is now heavily focused on Acrobatic Yoga.
Lex has collaborated and performed with various dance companies, entertainers, and musicians such as Rennie Harris Puremovement, Master Jay Master Moves, D.J. Venus 7, Angel Studios, Philadelphia Experiment (PEX), and the Trailer Park Trio.
The Instructor: With 7 Years experience in Partner yoga and acrobatics, and over a decade teaching body mechanics and movement practices, Mané has a reputation of helping beginner and seasoned practitioners alike unlock movements and poses they never thought would be accessible to them. Drawing from a depth of knowledge Mané uses humor and compassion to creates a playful environment to learn and grow. Having grown from an inflexible gangly teen who couldn’t touch his toes, Mané has become an internationally sought after teacher, Coming back to DC after appearances at “Yoga Journal Live in NYC”, “Australian Partner Acrobatics Convention” and touring Europe
Anjali Sunita is the founder of 2 yoga studios in Baltimore (www.baltimoreyogavillage.com) and the director of Jivan Yoga Teacher Training. She has been studying yoga philosophy, traditional North Indian classical chanting, deep breathing techniques, postures, and meditation ceaselessly for the past 13 years and has taught in India, Canada, and the United States in ashrams, private and public schools, embassies, yoga studios, detention centers, and private homes since 2005. She is certified to teach traditional hatha yoga, prenatal yoga, kids yoga, and AcroYoga. Her AcroYoga practice encourages radical honesty, playfulness, and sensitivity in relationship to others.
Lizzy is life-long circus monkey and now a full-fledge MBA! From the time she could crawl she was monkeying around and was lucky enough to have an older brother that was in the circus. Throughout childhood, Lizzy loved gymnastics, acrobatics, and circus classes. Then like many people, she ‘became an adult’ and mostly forgot about these things until the universe sent her some amazing friends including Josh Young who awakened that inner-child-acrobat!
She loves playing with and learning from friends and sees everyone’s potential to be an acrobatic super hero. In addition to teaching yoga, she has facilitated an after-school circus program for under-served youth, a women’s empowerment group in Washington DC, and women’s political training program in the Middle East. Lizzy believes that Acro Revolution helps us learn life lessons about balance, inner-strength, and literally and figuratively lifting up others.
Josh is happiest when he is empowering others to be the best version of themselves. He spends all of his free time flying everyone through hand-to-hand, washing machines, whips, and pops! When he is not tossing someone around, he is dorking out on cataloging every single acro washing machine, pose and transition. After spending years searching for acro videos on YouTube, Josh came up with the idea to build Acropedia.org: a free resource for acrobats everywhere. Not only does Josh have a deep love for high-level acrobatics, he also practices acropeutics, an inversion healing practice.
Josh’s movement journey began when he was tormented by lower back pain. After 14 surgeries and hundreds of doctors he found no relief from chronic pain. Josh healed himself through yoga and mindfulness practices.
Josh spent over a decade as a critical care registered nurse, working in intensive care. His passion for healing others developed into his passion for partner acrobatics. In Josh’s own words, “Yoga saved my life, Acrobatics saved my soul.” Josh’s mission in life is to spread this practice, offering it out to the world as a form of healing between the connections within yourself and your community.
Bios coming soon: