Why Kallie is defying gravity
Kallie Marcus isn't the type of girl who likes to count reps while working out in a gym.
She prefers to swing, twirl and bounce her way to a better physique — and she's encouraging others to get in on the action as well.
The 28-year-old practises aerial yoga and will launch a new wave of classes next month at her studio, Kinetix Natural Movement.
A blend between traditional yoga and acrobatics, aerial yoga allows people to put away their mats and challenge their flexibility with the support of soft, suspended fabrics. The best part? It's a low impact way to have fun.
“I had a bout of sciatica when I was working my former office job, which was a regular 9 to 5,” she said.
“It was very uncomfortable to sit down and/or wear heels to work and I wasn't able to stand upright sometimes. The sciatica caused inflammation through the right side of my body so I had to avoid foods like wheat and red meat, which made the inflammation worse.”
She suffered with the pain for almost three years before tests finally showed it was sciatica, a common type of pain affecting the large sciatic nerve that extends from the lower back through the back of each leg.
“It was a process of trial and error, getting MRIs and going to the chiropractor and physiotherapy,” Miss Marcus said.
“But once I had the time to work on my own body and learn about human anatomy through yoga I realised I didn't need some of those other treatments. Yoga helped to release my lower back and all the pain that came with it.”
Miss Marcus discovered aerial yoga at Om Factory in New York.
“Whenever I travel I always look for yoga classes in that country, anything that will help me to challenge my practice and get to experience yoga in a different setting,” she said. “I saw they offered an aerial yoga class and I was really excited just to try it out. My first reaction was ‘wow'. It was amazing to see all the moves the instructor was able to do. I also found it to be very helpful with my own practice.”
She was captivated by the combination of the yoga postures and aerial acrobatic movements.
“What's cool about it is you don't have to be in a circus or be a gymnast to try these moves,” she said. “Students of all levels can do the movements with my assistance and it doesn't take long to learn.”
The classes are appropriate for everyone from teenagers to senior citizens.
“It's actually easier for some older people than traditional yoga because they can use the hammock rather than being down on the mat,” she said.
“It gives them more support for their back and spine so they aren't putting too much weight on their joints. It's really multi-purpose.
“You can either do the acrobatics and use it for therapy, or yoga or just to have fun and hang out in the yard doing tricks and leaps with it.”
She loved sports while growing up, particularly running, gymnastics and dance. She's always preferred to get outside and find new, innovative ways to get active.
“I also do paddleboard yoga, which is great because you are out there on the water and getting some fresh air, but still getting your workout in. It helps with stress release, balance and improving your core.
“To be honest, I've never been one to have that traditional workout.
“I like to run because it lets me be outside and exploring the railway tracks and trails. I don't like to be in a gym looking at the clock or how many calories I have burned.
“When you are in a different environment, one that's naturally therapeutic, it releases stress and just makes you feel happier.
“You are in this serene environment and breathing in fresh air.”
• Miss Marcus's studio is in the Old Berkeley Institute. Classes start the second week in April. Drop-in classes are $35 each. For more information visit: www.gokinetix.com.