Husband and wife, yoga teachers, founders of Yoga Beyond, and creators of ACROVINYASA™, talented, artistic, fun-loving, and full of love, Claudine and Honza Lafond tell their own inspiring story about how they follow their own bliss.
Claudine and Honza Lafond
Since meeting eight years ago, we have explored many different endeavours, but what has made the most sense was to find a way in which we could work together and earn a living whilst travelling the world. In choosing to do this and ‘follow our bliss’ as we often say, we have inspired many others to ‘follow their own bliss’. We also make sure to practice the gifts of yoga in our daily life. We constantly practice patience, mutual respect, contentment, non-attachment, surrender and compassion. It is so important to be honest with yourself on and off the mat. In a relationship, this is paramount and we do our best to do our work and practice our yoga every day.
In 2012, we formed our company, YogaBeyond, a brand built on the practice of yoga, trust and community. Our desire to spread the message of yoga far beyond the existing yoga communities, led us to find our voice within the world of social media. With daily inspirational and educational posts of our practice on Instagram and Facebook, we have attracted a worldwide audience of over 400,000 followers.
This creative platform has provided wondrous opportunities that has allowed us to travel the world and share what we love to do. We connect with people from all corners of the world on a daily basis through our social media platforms and also have the chance to do this in person with communities around the planet. We feel so grateful to have carved out a reality for ourselves that feels like a dream come true.
As we have developed, so has our practice and our offering. We have been working together for over two years and it has been a blissed and blessed ride so far. We love all forms of movement and were driven to create something that fused the elements of the things we love most: vinyasa yoga, inversion training and acroyoga. We spent countless hours exploring how we could blend these elements together and have found a very successful way to do so.
What is AcroVinyasa
Our intention is and always has been to inspire playfulness and community, as we teach adults how to reconnect with the child within. We are all searching for deeper connection and our goals are based strongly around encouraging this opportunity to connect the global community. Our practice of ACROVINYASA™ takes yoga from earth to air. Uniting elements of vinyasa, acroyoga and inversion training, this practice cultivates trust and community in a powerful way.
The core of ACROVINYASA™ is focused on synchronizing breath in movement, building strength and finding balance. Inspired by traditional yoga asanas and L-based acrobatic flying, this progressive yoga system includes both solo and partner practice. The aerial part revolves around one partner (the base) supporting the other (the flyer) in flying through the air in a sequenced series of yoga postures. Bringing a refreshingly playful approach to an ancient tradition, ACROVINYASA™ feels more like a dance with gravity than physical exercise. Getting inverted with a partner is very empowering especially for people who may be fearful of supporting or being supported by others.
The necessary component for students learning the practice for the first time is the role of a spotter, who makes sure both base and flyer stay safe and properly aligned. The base lies flat on their back supporting the flyer’s weight with extended legs and arms. When students learn proper stacking (vertical bone alignment), they can start balancing more than just their own weight. Regular practice and proper technique allows even a smaller person to skilfully base a larger flyer. This practice derives techniques from traditional yoga streams with the intent to build meaningful human connection within a global community. Learning to trust, clearly communicate and give & receive are some of the deeper benefits. In short, ACROVINYASA™ offers a dynamic expansion beyond your solo practice.
How AcroVinyasa Works
We have systematically organised this practice into two flows LEVEL 1 and LEVEL 2 consisting of 180 postures (90 yoga and 90 acro). We share the practice not only in classes and workshops around the world, but also with our global online community through our daily #ACROVINYASA Instagram Challenge. Follow us on Instagram @YogaBeyond and @ACROVINYASA and join in on the fun! We’re thrilled to share that we have completed three booked out teacher trainings this year and now have 70 certified teachers around the world. We already have trainings lined up for next year in Bali in April and September 2016. All details are available on our website: www.YogaBeyond.com
Follow Your Bliss
It’s incredible to look back at where we’ve been and where we are now. At the time that I started teaching in 2000, I was simply teaching because I loved to connect with other people, affect change and have a shared experience of movement. I never thought I’d make an abundance of money teaching yoga, because my mindset wasn’t geared towards that. I was very humble and happy to teach a few classes a week and live simply.
I felt that if just one person had a shift in class that was good enough for me. I still feel grounded and humble but realize that the ripple effect of what we can offer now is very powerful. The principle of Santosha (contentment) has become a steady force and perhaps always has been in our lives. We have made an effort to consistently stay in a place of joy, no matter what we’re doing and who we’re with. We recognize and remember that the universe is awesome and abundant and that we are a part of the universe so no matter what happens, we are awesome and abundant too. Find it and follow your bliss, abundance will follow.