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Edward from Ulu yoga was born in the states and has been to Koh Phangan several times after seeing the potential for the growth of yoga,
‘It was top of the list to come and set up yoga then Samma Karuna said to come by as they were ready for aerial yoga and it worked out really well’.
When did you get into yoga in general?
Ten years ago, I was teaching English in Korea and I just had this feeling to try yoga and that it would be right for me as it combines philosophy, fitness and spirituality. I’ve got more and more in depth with it over the last ten years.
And your speciality now is aerial yoga…?
I taught vinyasa and ashtanga for a while but for the last six months I’ve been strictly aerial. I’ve practiced aerial for two years now, it’s my passion and focus.
What dimensions does aerial yoga bring to yoga practice?
It’s a mix of physical therapy and acrobatics so it enhances and facilitates traditional yoga practice.
Should people be fluent in yoga first?
Not at all, three year olds can do it, ninety year olds can do it, everyone can do the first pose the first time without any experience or fitness level, we’re just playing in swings like kids for the most part.
People think it’s difficult and it’s not!. It’s so simple and beneficial for people. Everyone loves it, it’s not me it’s the swing, but my class is good, I have it sequenced in a logical order.
How was International Yoga Day?
It was a lot of fun, we had a family with three kids play in the swings, then had a few advanced Yogis do some acrobatics as well. It’s fantastic and it united the different studios as everyone sent a teacher.
How has yoga changed your life?
It is my life, I was a university professor and I quit all that to be a yoga bum, I love it. In regards to Aerial Yoga, my shoulders are all torn and dislocated, so normal yoga is hard for me, but the swings are gentle and keep me strong and flexible without getting injured.
What are the specific benefits of Aerial Yoga?
It's beneficial for people with dislocated disks or back pain in general, it takes the pressure off the vertebrae and then creates space between the disks and the nerves which is what causes pain.
What is it like teaching at Samma Karuna?
It's fun, there’s a wide variety of programs going on all day and it’s always full of students and volunteers so it has a friendly community vibe that you don’t normally find in big studios.
Tell us about the swings…
I make the swings myself, I’ve bought some of the other swings; parachute material, the belts and silks, and I combined the best aspects and created my own.
My swings are sized to fit the body and have yoga mats built in for shape and cushion. They are a unique design, very simple and comfortable.
Why do you think Koh Phangan attracts open minded individuals?
It's a magical place. It has some crazy magnetic wave energy. Freaky synchronistic things happen so often, it’s uncanny. It’s a cosmic vortex that draws special people and creative forces together.
What do you enjoy about the island in your free time?
It’s a very inspiring place for writing, painting and just walking around admiring the natural beauty. I love a good book and Thai Tea on the beach.
And leave us with your yogi philosophy...
Everything is comprised of magnetic energy waves; phones, flowers, stars - they are all the same thing in various configurations. They are all held together by gravity, but we don’t really know what gravity is or where it comes from.
But with Aerial Yoga we can play around and have some fun with it. This opens the body and mind to new possibilities.