Aqua Om

/'ækwə ōm/

When we practice Aqua Om we are aligning Body•Mind•Spirit.

We are recognizing our connection to everything within the universe.

 

Our Yoga Philosophy

Get Out • Get Active • Get Fluid

We believe that Yoga is for everyone. In fact, we created a class named Yoga 4 All, that’s how serious we are! A Pose of the Month was launched in Fall 2018 to show how versatile Yoga really is.We are committed to creating a welcoming and judgement free space where you have permission to honor your body and its limits. We focus on the mind, body, spirit connection during your practice and guide you through sequences that can be easily modified to accommodate all levels of practice.

 

Aqua Om Pose of the Month

Get Out • Get Active • Get Fluid

Aqua Om launched a Pose of the Month campaign to show the versatility of Yoga. Through weekly studio classes and social media posts we break down each asana (pose) and demonstrate how it can be practiced; kneeling, seated, reclined and even on a SUP board! View our videos and maybe try something new with a pose. We would love to see what you can come up with. Please tag us and use the hashtag #AOPoseoftheMonth

MEET OUR TEAM

Kami

Co-Founder & Owner

“Yoga is not about touching your toes, it is what you learn on the way down” Jigar Gor

 

Ever since I was a little girl I always loved to dance. At some point while training to become a ballerina, I realized the competition and damage I was doing to my body wasn’t for me. After taking some time off from professional dance, I eventually turned to Yoga. 

I will always love to dance but I think in some way, Yoga was always with me. A part waiting to be uncovered. The graceful movements of the body. The poses and contortions you can train your body to take the shape of; eyes over your shoulder, hips square, relax your shoulders. To obtain alignment in the body through poses and stretching matches so closely with my history of ballet.

My very first yoga class was a private session with my friend and Aqua Om co-founder, Melissa. After that, I started going to Yoga classes locally. I learned a huge lesson about Yoga pretty early on as a student. This one time during a full class I let my ego get a little too big while preforming a headstand. The keyword there was performing, not practicing. My pride soared as I was holding this awesome pose (everyone look at me, I used to be a dancer). The next moment I lost focus of my breath and came crashing down like a ton of bricks. On the way down I hit one of those super insulated, and so not quiet, aluminum Swell Bottle thermos creating an even bigger disruption. Lesson learned, thank you Yoga.

Because of that, I do not see yoga as having a goal, or an exercise to be the best at. I often hear people say that someone is “good at yoga” and that is confusing to me. Yoga is not performed, graded or scored, it is practiced. Once I started diving deeper into the philosophy of yoga, I couldn’t keep what I had learned to myself. I wanted to share it with every person I encountered.

I received a 250 hour CYT certification from YogaLife Institute in Wayne, PA. The YogaLife Institute is the North American Headquarters of The Yoga Institute of Mumbai, India, and was the first Yoga Center open to the general public in the world. I chose the YogaLife not only because of the Yoga lineage and philosophy, also due to the teacher training program exceeding the requirements set forth by the Yoga Alliance. 

As an instructor and student, I like to say that your yoga practice should be non-violent. Yoga is NOT a “no pain, no gain” type of practice. In fact, I have discovered more benefit from poses when I back off and focus on what I am feeling with each asana and I encourage my students to do the same. One of my teachers would say “yoga should be 60% physical effort” and that sticks with me every practice. If you are straining, in pain, praying for the moment you can get out of the pose, then you’re missing the whole point of yoga. 

For me, the water always had such a healing aspect to it. Whether I’m in a lake or pool, or just near the water I feel calm, ease and at peace. The fluidity of water helps remind me to be flexible and nimble in my life, to be open to change and new circumstances. 

When I bought my first Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP), I started looking on Instagram for any information I could find about it. I came across thousands of people practicing yoga on boards and had to try it for myself. I was hooked from the very first time. Combining SUP and Yoga takes your practice to a whole different level. Melissa and I saw how interested our friends were in trying SUP and SUP Yoga but there wasn’t a business locally that offered rentals. That’s how we got started and why Aqua Om is proud to be the first Stand Up Paddle Board business in Berks County.

 

Melissa

Co-Founder & Instructor

"Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing, there is a field.  I'll meet you there." Rumi

During my freshman year of college, I got sidetracked from doing homework by a Yoga Instructor on the Oprah Winfrey Show. I was intrigued by the beautiful shapes he made with his body. He was so calm and in incredible shape and I knew I needed to try Yoga for myself.


My first Yoga class was alone in my dorm room with a rented VHS tape. Back then, I exercised every day yet was shocked at how beneficial the practice was. To me, the best thing about doing Yoga was that it took away all those racing thoughts of homework, school, money, and life and got me focused on my body and in touch with my breath. I was home!


Ever since, Yoga has always kept me grounded, peaceful, free, centered, balanced, and blissful.  When my mind is racing with all the things I need or want to do, it reminds me to be present.  When I am feeling achy and tired, yoga energizes me and opens up my muscles and joints.  When I am stressed or worried, yoga soothes my mind, body, and soul and reminds me to be grateful of where I am and what I have right now.  Yoga helps me to surrender to the present; the past is gone, the future is unknown.  All we have is right here and right now.


I became a yoga instructor to share my passion; helping others to feel comfortable and happy in their body, mind, and spirit.  Yoga is so healing in a very holistic way, and I am humbled to share the practice with as many people as I can. Teaching yoga makes me feel a sense of deep love and acceptance and I cannot help but feel a connection to the people with whom I share the practice. I feel sincere gratitude that I have the opportunity to help others feel good.


I have been practicing Yoga since 1997 and hold a 250 hour CYT certification from YogaLife Institute in Wayne, PA. The YogaLife Institute is the North American Headquarters of The Yoga Institute of Mumbai, India, and was the first Yoga Center open to the general public in the world. I chose the YogaLife not only because of the Yoga lineage and philosophy, also due to the teacher training program exceeding the requirements set forth by the Yoga Alliance.


I have always found a profound sense of peace and connection from being in and around the water.  I find it healing, calming, breathtaking, and primal.  I feel complete when I am in or around the ocean, a lake, or even swimming in a pool. So, doing Yoga on a Stand Up Paddle Board was a natural fit, a match made in heaven!  To be able to connect with yourself through yoga while being on the water and in nature is indescribable.  There is such a deep sense of connection. Aqua Om got started because I wanted to share my love of the outdoors, Yoga, nature, and fitness to help heal and motivate others.
 

 

Rachel

Instructor

"In a gentle way, you can shake the world."

Mahatma Gandhi

I initially got into yoga during college when I tried a class with a friend and I immediately fell in love with the practice.

My first yoga class as a participant was amazing. I loved the class, the other students, the teacher, and the studio. I couldn’t wait to go back.

After graduating college, I dove deep into the practice of yoga. I had lost my brother to a drunk driver and yoga is what helped me get through that difficult time. I knew I wanted to not just practice yoga but also to teach it.

Yoga benefits me physically by keeping me strong, flexible, and fit. It benefits me mentally by helping to calm my mind and keep me focused. It benefits me personally by keeping me on track and helping me to get through the many experiences life brings.

I have been teaching yoga for 9 years and I love teaching because I get to share my passion and joy with others. I love seeing others light up or learn something new.

I hold certifications in prenatal, kids yoga, yin, restorative, and Kripalu Yoga. I am also a reiki master and Thai massage therapist. I received my 500 hour certification from Kripalu.

I love hiking, going to the beach, and being outside with my family.

It was my love of yoga, being outside and the water that brought me to Aqua Om!

If you haven’t tried yoga yet, give it one class! You come as you are, no judgements. You leave feeling refreshed and relaxed.


 

 

Gabi

Instructor

"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

Dalai Lama

My mom was the first person to introduce me to yoga. About 2 years ago, I was going through a really difficult time in my life and she reminded me that when I was little, I would practice with her. She brought home a flyer for a yoga festival that was 20 minutes from my house.  When I went, I immediately knew this was exactly what was missing in my life.


My first yoga class was a fantastic experience. I left the practice feeling the best I have ever felt, so connected to the instructor and my fellow classmates.


Yoga was so eye opening for me because I saw amazing people with stories just like mine. I saw people who did not let the daily struggles of life get the best of them. I saw people who allowed themselves to remain present in this moment and that is exactly what I wanted for myself.  


Yoga has helped me in many ways but the most important lesson that I have taken from the practice is forgiveness. Forgiveness of the past, forgiveness of myself and all those I encounter.


I became a yoga instructor because of how yoga helped me on my path of healing. Also, due to how I felt in my practice… Not just the asana, but the breath and the constant compassion that I was taught to hold within my heart for all those I encounter.  I wanted to spread the message of yoga to the world, that yoga is for everyone and carries with you on and off the mat.


I received a 200-hour Yoga Teaching certification at the Kula Kamala Yoga Ashram in Alsace Pennsylvania. I am also a certified reflexologist, raindrop therapist, and wheel yoga instructor.


I enjoy making jewelry, hiking, healthy eating, and traveling. I have always felt connected to water, since water reminds me to continue moving through life with no expectation and just awareness.

 

 

Danielle

Instructor

"Pilates is complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit." Joseph Pilates

Pilates has completely changed my life, the way I view my body, and how I work out. I began weight training at 15 striving toward this body image I had in my mind. After years of beating up my body, injury, and frustration from not achieving my goal, I was introduced to pilates in my mid-30s.  I realized my mindset was all wrong.  Pilates helped me achieve a healthier understanding that my mind and body were sources of strength and what I saw in the mirror became less important, because I felt amazing.  Also being barely 5’1”, it doesn’t take much for my muscles to bulk up quick.  Pilates was the first workout where I noticed my muscles got toned, long, and lean, instead of bulky. This is why I became an instructor, because I wanted other women to have the same realization and experiences.  A strong mind will create a strong body, which will change the way you look and feel.  

Pilates is not yoga.  While some of the movements cross-over, the idea behind each practice is different. Pilates focuses on mindful breathing and control to increase spinal flexibility, improve muscular imbalance, and strengthen your core to develop long, lean muscles.

What I enjoy most about teaching pilates is watching clients become empowered to be their best self.  I also enjoy the camaraderie and connection that comes from group classes, when clients celebrate each other’s successes on and off the reformer or mat. In 2015, I completed 120 hours of observation/student teaching and 34 hours of instruction and testing to obtain my Level 1 and 2 Balanced Body Reformer Instructor certificates.  Training was completed through Body Awareness Studio in Atlanta, Georgia.

After my husband’s job relocated us to PA, I was having difficulty finding active like-minded individuals to connect with here in Berks County. At the same time, I heard about this new company called Aqua Om and loved the energy of Kami and Melissa. As soon as they opened, I tried out all of the classes from SUP Yoga, Meditation, to Paddle Pump and fell in love with the whole experience and what they offer this community.

There is such a sense of peace that comes from being around water, whether it is the ocean, lake, or even a pool. Experiencing mindful movements like yoga and pilates, SUPing, or meditation on water helps me gain a deeper sense of spirituality that allows for healing to take place in my mind, body, and soul.

To someone thinking about trying pilates for the 1st time, I would say, “Do it!” You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  Your fitness level does not matter, as pilates is a mindful practice that will change the way you look and feel.

​I am a pretty active person and also enjoy running, yoga, TRX and weight training.  My husband and I love to spend our weekends SUPing on Blue Marsh and planning road trips throughout the country to explore new places to hike. I’m also a bit addicted to DoTerra essential oils and can pretty much find a blend for anything!

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