Steven Cummings is an acro yogi in San Diego. He and his partner Gina Shiotani will be presenting an Acro Yoga workshop at Elevated Awareness: Yoga + Live Music + Nutrition this Saturday, October 22nd, from 9am-12pm at EVE Encinitas.
1.) Tell me about your personal journey with yoga. Why is it important to you?
Yoga simultaneously fuels internal connection to my Self and centrifugal involvement with life-augmenting individuals and communities. My yoga journey literally began with a journey to the far-reaching places of the earth, following the completion of my service in the US Army. Discovering new meanings for the Warrior within has delivered a constant flux of perspectives and thoughts as to how to live for one’s self, for others, for all within our grasp of experience.
2.) When did you first begin teaching yoga? What made you transition into a leadership position?
In the budding phases of my “yoga journey” I found myself striking up conversations about yoga wherever I’d go. Once while walking along the Camino de Santiago in Spain a group of “peregrinos” asked me if I might lead them through a yoga class – it was my first, and it moved through asana with the fluidity of a suckling foal, but it nevertheless inspired me to seek deeper into my practice and eventually to complete a Yoga Teacher Training program in Dharamsala, India.
3.) What makes your classes unique?
Initially many people were surprised to find themselves taking yoga classes from a war veteran, but as my hair has grown longer and my Om deeper I no longer seem to conjure these feelings of incongruity. Still, a practitioner may find themselves betwixt an ashtanga-influenced vinyasa flow and an Army PT session. Ahem…I’m also prone to removing people from the solitude of their own mat with some acro yogic integration!
4.) How does music benefit your guidance in a yoga class?
Music can drown the senses and enable an intense focus within, or it can enliven and inspire a synchronous movement-to-melody experience. Both have an influential presence and help to bring a yin/yang balance to one’s practice. Silence, too, has its place. Depending on the environment I enjoy teaching with different styles of music or no music at all, especially when surrounded by harmonious natural elements – an oceanic purr, or a mountaintop’s thunderous quietude.
5.) Tell me about your next event and where we can follow you online.
I must admit to a near-bursting level of excitement (perhaps unbefitting to goals of equanimity) for the fast-approaching Dance Medicine: Revolution festival at Trilogy Sanctuary, November 11th-13th. It has an incredible line up of music artists, including Emancipator, and a whole ensemble of offerings from yoga, dance, and other movement arts and much more. Together with my partner Gina Shiotani we’ll be teaching a partner balancing flow, “Lean on Me,” and hosting an acro yoga jam on Sunday afternoon during the festival.
Attention Yogis and Yoginis: Are you interested in doing a 5Q Interview? Fill out your unique responses here.