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FLYoga is Good for the Mind, Body, and Community

Published: Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 17:08


Alli Ligget. College Times

The Ra yoga studio is located in a two-story brick building that smells of incense and sweat. The Phoenix studio is home to FLYoga, an aerial yoga classes in which participants partake in suspensions, inversions, swings and core balance while dangling from yoga hammocks attached to the ceiling.

FLYoga was developed by studio owner Roman Acevedo, who has offered the class since February. It’s free, but donations are accepted then given to Valley charities. Acevedo said his mission since he moved to Phoenix about 12 years ago has been to make yoga accessible to all people.

“I felt like in this economy, it’s not always convenient for us to pay $130 or whatever the case may be for a monthly membership to go do yoga somewhere,” Acevedo said. “When you do a program like this, you don’t make as much as you probably could.”

He added that he’s not in this business for wealth.

“Ra Yoga isn’t about making money; we give it away,” he said.

Some of the charities that donations go to are employment, homeless and domestic violence centers such as Arizona Opportunities Industrialization Center, UMOM New Day Centers and the Sojourner Center.

“My personal practice in yoga has taken me on a journey to where life’s not just about me and putting money in my pocket, but how I treat others and how I’m going to impact my community to feel profitable on all different levels and feel good about what I’m doing,” Acevedo said.

Acevedo has seen many businesses adopt a similar attitude over the years.

“I think there’s a conscious shift in our society that’s starting to create what we call ‘three-profit companies,’” he said. “It’s people, earth and profit. It’s not enough now just to be a company that’s profitable. It’s how are we taking care of our environment, how are we taking care of those around us and yet make a dollar.”

Acevedo started doing yoga around 12 years ago to mix up his fitness routine and enjoyed the exercise so much, he opened a studio and offered classes on the cheap as well as in the air. To keep costs low, he created his own classes. 

“I wasn’t going to go and spend $2,600 a year so [the class] could be called Aerial Yoga by somebody who’s trademarked the name,” he said. “So I just called it FLYoga and trained myself on the thing, and that was it. I just took the basic concept, put in my own floor and put in the swing.”

Acevedo said the workout is unique and participants are sure to feel the burn.

“It’s a lot different; it’s like nothing you’ve ever prepared for,” he said. “If you’re a hard-core yogi or CrossFit trainer or professional wrestler, whatever it may be, nothing prepares you for the workout that you’re about to get when you get on these swings.

“You’re defying gravity and constantly engaged, getting yourself into positions and poses that may have come really easily on the floor, and now you need to engage different muscles to get you there.”

Aecevedo added that all fitness groups are welcome and encouraged to try FLYoga, which helps build muscle, stretch the body and align the back.

“Anybody can do it,” he said. “It’s really designed so that anybody can come in and give it a shot. We gear it so that it works with everybody’s levels. We really don’t care if you have the money or not. It’s just available for you to come down and do, if it works for you.”


FLYoga, Ra Yoga, 15 E. Jackson Street, Phoenix, ongoing Wednesdays,

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