Now that we’re all in stay-at-home mode, it’s time to finally dust off that checklist of things I’ve always wanted to do. If you’ve ever said to yourself, “Someday I’ll learn to do a handstand properly or get flexible enough to reach the ground in full split,” then we have something in common.
Up until recently, it seemed like I could never find the time to be at home with myself, all sprawled out on the living room floor dressed in athleisure with nowhere to go. And now, there’s a golden opportunity to teach my body something new. This is where Lana comes in.
Lana Heintjes is an aerial and AcroYoga instructor based in New Paltz, New York. A little more than 10 years ago, the summer after high school, she got her yoga certification and immediately began teaching at her college. She’s been teaching full-time for the last six years. She worked hard to build up her yoga and circus career her first two years out of college, training and teaching part-time at a local studio. Beyond acrobatic arts, clients come to her for everything from AcroYoga and flexibility training to mastering the handstand.
Before the recent stay-home-fight-COVID-19 movement, Lana taught regularly at Vitality Yoga, Hudson Valley Circus Arts, and Mohonk Mountain House, an old-timey hotel with a luxury vibe. At Mohonk, she teaches AcroYoga to an older crowd — even folks in their 70s “rock it” she says.
In the past week, Lana has gone from teaching around weekly 15 group lessons and weekend workshops to transitioning her career to all online instruction. Her first online class happened last Sunday. It was a partner workout class geared toward people who live with a partner or roommate. Five couples attended and even some people joined by themselves for the solo exercises.
Here’s how they set it up: They asked everyone to have their cameras on but audio muted, so they could see everyone and give feedback, without the risk of random background noise. Lana and her partner, Kelley, demonstrated the stretches while Casey, her other partner guided the class verbally, from the computer.
Best friends and roommates Lana and Casey have been working together for 3 years. They met through a mutual friend, and soon after Casey began training at Vitality Yoga. Now the two, along with friend and roommate Kelley, teach and perform together regularly. They’ve even started what they call “Acro-lele” where Casey sings and plays ukulele while Lana holds her up in the air with her feet, laying on her back.
The pair are planning to record online classes including topics like AcroYoga, inversion training and handstand coaching. That’s right. You, too, can realize your dreams of playing a musical instrument while dangling from the pedestal created by your partner’s feet.
Lana offers virtual private lessons for $80 an hour. For those who are now out of work and still want coaching, she’s offering AcroYoga lessons at a sliding-scale cost, starting from $40. Her live weekly group classes are donation-based and you can reach out to Lana on her Instagram to join. See the class schedule here.
Lana’s Must-Have AcroYoga Tools:
- Acumobility Ball– It sticks to surfaces, like walls, so you can massage yourself by rubbing against it.
- Topricin Sports Cream– Fast pain relief for all the muscle pains that might come from being highly active.
Artists To Follow