What does community mean to you? 
This year, Paige Elenson of Africa Yoga Project taught me a great lesson: Community is whoever you are present with. Wherever I go I try to genuinely connect with the people around me and discover what they are passionate about. I think the best way to build community is to share my own passions, which include circus arts, acroyoga, women’s empowerment, and the simple joy of playing!

What do you do to Circle Up?
To ‘Circle Up’ I follow each of my passions to their fullest expression. My daily life is full of community experiences. I start each day working with the Fojol Bros Traveling Culinary Carnival, where we make lunch about connecting with the people around us and nourishing others in our own quirky way. Then I head over to the Anacostia neighborhood of DC to share the joy of circus with youth through the Zip Zap Circus USA after-school circus program. I truly believe that circus teaches life’s lessons; balancing priorities, juggling responsibilities, and supporting others. I seek to bring the same sense of empowerment to my peers by facilitating a women’s empowerment course, Fem*Ex, that helps women discover their own voice and share their stories in a supportive environment. In addition to all this, I help others find their own strength by teaching two weekly vinyasa yoga classes!
To me I see each time I interact with another person as a chance to build new community, share my passion, and Circle Up!

Lizzy has practiced AcroYoga for three years and now assists weekly classes in Washington DC.  She is most frequently seeing flying people of all sizes from small children to men three times her size.  Lizzy believes that anything is possible and she transmits that through her teaching.  Without her, the Washington DC community would be much less lively!

What does community mean to you? 
Communities come in all shapes and sizes, and we can be members of many communities that serve our many needs throughout life. Community to us means a place to call home with like minded souls and kindred spirits. To come together with a common purpose that is equal parts work and celebration of that which we value most highly. Communities require the participation of every member, both giving and receiving, in order for the community to remain healthy. We all have a part to play, and that part also changes with time, as we grow. This is why Acro yoga kulas make such great communities!

What do you do to Circle Up?
To Circle Up means to reach out – to connect – to give space and attention to something bigger and greater than yourself. And to play! Circling up also helps us define the space within, to place our roots, and figure out the areas where we can grow, individually and collectively.

Jesse and Tatyana met while practicing AcroYoga in DC.  Tatyana brings a soft humbleness and a love for therapeutic flying.  Jesse (with roots in Arizona) has shared new creative acrobatic flows with the Washington DC community.  Together, they embody love, deep respect, and trust in each other, all things essential to community-building.

What does community mean to you? 
Community means love and trust.  It means letting go to be supported and reaching out to support others.  It means believing in yourself and finding a courageous spirit that may be hidden deep within you.  It means an all encompassing presence that you can rely on in times of joy, sadness, fear, or pain.  It is never ending and reaches around the world.

What do you do to Circle Up?
To Circle Up, I look for the people and things that bring me comfort and joy, such as my faith, family, friends, teachers, yoga and AcroYoga.  I take all of these things and hold them close and use them as a way to stay connected to the present moment.  A circle has neither a beginning nor an end, and it is important to find ways to stay grounded in times of unsteadiness on your path.  Remembering how the Light of Love holds us together is key to finding inner strength.  The Circle is a friendly reminder to that Truth.

Coleen has been a steadfast member of the AcroYoga community in Washington DC for years.  Her presence in weekly classes is a reminder to new students how much they can grow with dedication and self belief.  She practices both Anusara and AcroYoga.  Each year Coleen takes on a new challenge.  In her 30th year of life (2012), Coleen is embracing handstands!