We spoke to Wai, an aerial acrobat, teacher, and speaker based out of the United States.
Wai took time off his busy ‘Play’ schedule for an interview with the Metropolitant Team.
CARE TO TELL US MORE ABOUT YOURSELF?
My name is Wai. I love acrobatics and I am Asian. Also, I go by @AcroAsian on Instagram.
I perform with Fire Muse Circus and teaches at Aerobatics Gym in Salt Lake City, Utah. Currently in Singapore for the summer holidays.
‘Play’ is my passion. I firmly believe in living happier, fitter and richer through play. My calling is to inspire a playful lifestyle in others by being a living example. In the spring of 2016, I performed and shared an idea worth spreading at TEDxWestminsterCollege on rediscovering play.
When I am not playing, I am a junior at Westminster College in Salt Lake City.
DO YOU GO TO THE GYM ALOT?
So I used to be a proud gym-rat. Then one day, I realised there was more to life than lifting weights. What I really wanted deep down was fun, connection and growth. And I rediscovered PLAY.
Play to me comes in a few forms: AcroYoga, aerial trapeze or trampoline-wall. AcroYoga is probably my favourite way to play. To me personally, AcroYoga is the physical practice of relationships. Through the process, you experience communication, commitment, and trust with yourself and your partner. AcroYoga combines the elements of acrobatics, yoga, and healing arts. Here is my latest AcroYoga performance that I am most proud of to date.
Another favourite way to play is on the trapeze; solo and with a partner. Think of the trapeze like a pull-up bar suspended in the air from a rigging point. You get on the bar and defy gravity. And you can do that alone(solo trapeze) or with a partner(duo trapeze).
I also like to climb random structures for cheap thrills. Then 2 years later, this happened.
WHAT IGNITED YOUR INTEREST IN ACROYOGA?
Around December 2014, I was introduced to AcroYoga at an aerial studio and I instantly fell in love with it because it was an incredibly fun way to workout and meaningful to connect with people through play, and yet cost next-to-nothing! All you need is a partner and a yoga mat(or not) and you can have a blast anywhere anytime.
This further sparked my interested in other circus disciplines such as aerial arts and trampoline. I started playing on the trapeze around June 2015 and began performing soon after. A consistent practice and committing myself to every performing opportunity has allowed me to progress fairly quickly.
WHO WOULD YOU RECOMMEND ACROYOGA TO?
E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E whether you are 8 or 80. With the right instruction and progressions, people of all fitness levels can enjoy the magical experience of play. Here is a photo my 55-year-old Mum practicing AcroYoga with me: https://www.instagram.com/p/BGtYcNVRb7Z/
DO YOU FOLLOW STRICT DIET?
I do. I guess u can call it a strictly free diet. Play lets me eat to my heart’s content. I think food is one of the simple pleasures in life, and I firmly believe that everyone deserve to enjoy simple pleasures with a balance.
I primarily eat a plant-based diet and prepare most of the meals in my kitchen when in the US. I carry my Six Pack Bag with me everywhere so I get all the fuel I need for play while keeping cost economical. I would eat out no more than twice a week. When I go to a buffet though; I make sure I get my money’s worth!
I was a vegan for about 8 months and figured out that it didn’t quite work for me. So I started adding some animal products back to balance my diet. During my current visit to Singapore, I go all out.
DID YOU FACE ANY DIFFICULTIES LEARNING ACROYOGA?
Everyone must go through the initial learning curve like with all new skills, regardless of how strong you are. It is a humbling experience. My strength background with weight-training was helpful.
ARE THERE ANY MISCONCEPTIONS?
I often hear people saying ‘I am not strong or flexible enough to do Acro’. And I always tell them ‘You do Acro, and then you become strong and flexible’.
ANY ADVICE FOR PEOPLE NEW TO THE SPORT?
Invest in learning the fundamentals with proper instruction. That way you have a strong foundation that will allow you to develop your practice deeper.
Find a consistent partner who shares a similar goal as you. Look up #SGacroyogis on Instagram or ‘AcroYoga Singapore’ group on Facebook.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ROUTINE?
AcroYoga and duo trapeze alternating 6 days a week, with a little playtime on the trampoline wall every other day! A soak in the natural hot spring on the 7th day and a body massage every day. AcroYoga training is like my ‘push days’ and duo trapeze is like my ‘pull days’, and every day is a ‘leg day’!
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
Play all day every day. Find an Acro-wife and make Acro-babies. Travel the world and inspire a playful lifestyle in others as a living example.
Once again we thank Wai for his time and his 2 lovely friends who joined u for the shoot. Kimberly (@kimberrieee) and Pricilla (@little_raindrops)
Help him on his journey! gofundme.com/AcroAsian.