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Kutumba Energy is an acroyoga duo based in Montreal comprised of Anna Kowaleski & Jaime Schmidt-Little. They will be teaching at Loft108, so we thought you should get to know them! Cousins Anna & Jaime became hooked on acroyoga after just one class purchased on GroupOn. Originally from Ontario, Kutumba Energy is known for highly creative acroyoga photos on Instagram and their accessible yoga classes for everyone. Coming up, the duo are leading two workshops and a six week acroyoga series at Loft108. (click here for details)

We thought you should get to know Kutumba Energy. Here’s our interview with them:

Cousins Anna (left) & Jaime (right) became close after moving to Montreal.

Cousins Anna (left) & Jaime (right) became close after moving to Montreal.

1- What does Kutumba Energy signify and why did you pick this name?  

Kutumba Energy comes from a Sanskrit expression that we connected with – “vasudhaiva kutumbakam” which means, “the world is one family”. Our family is extremely important to us, and they are the reason we became the people we are today. We wanted to be able to share this feeling of closeness, and safety, and love with the rest of the world – make everyone part of our family! Kutumba means family, so the name literally means Family Energy – which is the vibe we are going for.

 

2- How did you start practicing Acroyoga together?

Anna was looking to reconnect to her yoga practice in 2014 and at the time could only afford to buy a GroupOn pass to a studio near her downtown, and she immediately connected with the teacher, who also taught Acroyoga classes. We went to one Acroyoga class “just to try it out” and became instantly hooked. We’ve been practicing non-stop ever since.

 

3- We know your cousins and close friends, we you always close growing up?

We were somewhat close, but definitely not how we are now. We always lived far apart growing up and only saw each other at family get-togethers. We became extremely close when we both moved to Montreal. As we are the only two members of our family living in Quebec, our relationship is very important to us. We have been very fortunate to also have similar passions and life goals, and to have become not only yoga partners, but business partners as well.

The four pillars of Kutumba Energy are: Communication, Community, Connection & Creativity.

The four pillars of Kutumba Energy are: Communication, Community, Connection & Creativity.

 

4- You have a very cool Instagram account with so many nice photos. What or who inspires you?

Inspiration comes from everywhere! Much of our inspiration comes from other Acroyogis’ social media accounts. It also comes from our many amazing teachers and fellow Acroyogis who we practice with. We also draw inspiration from the beauty of Montreal itself. We’re not from here, and we’re not sure if the novelty will wear off eventually, but the city is just so beautiful!

 

5- Some of your photos look very acrobatic. What would you say the difference is between acrobatics & acroyoga?

We’ve never actually trained in acrobatics, so for us, we can only really speak about it from the Acroyoga standpoint. Acroyoga fuses acrobatics, yoga and Thai yoga massage. Although much of our practice is very energetic, it always incorporates proper technique, alignment and breath, and can also incorporate very relaxing and healing partner/group work. From what we know of acrobatics, it is much more just an emphasis on the aesthetic and the physical acts.

 

6- How do you hope to serve the world through your work? What imprint would you like to leave behind?

For this photoshoot, Anna made sparkly tutus for them to wear. The theme was 'Urban Fairytale'.

For this photoshoot, Anna made sparkly tutus for them to wear. The theme was ‘Urban Fairytale’.

Acroyoga is an amazing tool for helping to get past perceived limitations. Neither of us come from an acrobatic or gymnastic background of any sort and we were amazed at what we could do (in fact it has changed our entire lives!). We also hope to create a sense of family wherever we go and with whomever we meet in our journey, and we believe that through the beautiful practices of yoga and Acroyoga, we can help others to see that at the core, we are all the same and we all belong. By working together and cultivating patience, community, communication, connection and creativity, we can build not only a wonderful Acroyoga practice, but we can also change the world.

 

Acroyoga & Kutumba Energy Events: