May Instructor Spotlight: Avi Asuleen!
Q + A with Avi Asuleen:
Musical Theater director, choreographer, and performer
What sparked your interest in yoga, Pilates, and/or barre?
I've danced since I was young, and always wanted to help all people (and not just dancers!) incorporate exercise into their day to day lives. Barre combines my love of dance with my passion for everyday fitness.
When did you decide to start teaching these practices?
I decided to start teaching barre in 2014. I had never taken barre before, but after discovering the workout I realized pretty quickly that it was something I wanted to do.
What fuels your inspiration and creativity?
Dancing, absolutely. For Barre, I love taking my favorite movement qualities and feelings from dance and translating them to barre exercises.
Favorite pose or workout?
I love yoga. I decided long ago I would never teach yoga, because it helps me unwind, and is a hobby and practice I want to keep all to myself!
Favorite jams to listen to while teaching?
I’m pretty happy with anything that keeps me in a solid groove and in the right BPM, to be honest! But I’m a sucker for a fitness remix of “uptown funk”, and I love a good Amy Winehouse cool down. Her “Lioness” Album is an absolute favorite of mine.
Favorite affirmation and or/quote?
"Let other men build mighty nations, or stairways to the sky... I'll leave a few creations, to show that I was dancing by."
Favorite “healthy” treat?
Coffee! I also love making chocolate whey protein shakes with almond milk and a frozen Banana. So good.
Wellness is important to you because…?
You only have one body, and it will only continue to function nicely if you treat it with kindness and respect!
Three words to describe yourself today?
Focused, energized and forward thinking
Coolest place you have been?
Probably Glacier Bay, Alaska.
Places you want to visit?
I've never been to New Orleans. Middle/eastern Europe definitely for my next big trip - I'd love to see Prague, Vienna and perhaps Istanbul.
You feel most ecstatic and confident when...?
After an amazing musical theater dance class!
Your spirit animal is?
A sloth - because I like to go go go, and they remind me to stop and breathe.
Three words that describe your style?
Energetic, humorous and challenging.
What challenges have you grown from and overcome while teaching and/or while practicing yoga, barre, Pilates…?
I've got major hyper-extension in my knees - so physically I'm always working with that challenge, and finding ways to modify exercises to keep my lower body alignment properly stacked. Because of this, I know first hand that all bodies really are different, and I like to help students find safe modifications for their unique skeleton.
Ice cream or FROYO?
Ice Cream. Ample Hills.
An afternoon of board games with my nearest and dearest on a snowy day - or singing and tap dancing in a 1920's or 1930's musical.
Favorite Brooklyn cafe?
Lazy Ibis on Franklin Avenue
Coffee or tea?
Last movie you saw in theaters…?
I think LA LA land. But I just saw “The Outer Space” at Joe’s Pub - I see a lot more theatre!
What brings you the most joy?
Sharing great experiences with my friends and loved ones.
Favorite songs at the moment?
When can we take your class?
Align Barre at 9:30am on Mondays and 6:30pm on Thursdays!