Bending Over Backwards With Alicia Archer

 

New York based Alicia Archer knows a thing or two about keeping #perfectlybalanced. Gaining her start in fitness through a lifelong practice of dance, Alicia is now one of Equinox’s most in demand instructors at a number of locations across NYC. We were intrigued to know more about her practice after watching Alicia squeeze in training time both before and after her classes, working on advanced hand balancing and contortion moves that turn heads of everyone and anyone in the place. A master in grace, balance, and hard work – Alicia’s beauty shines from the inside out through her practice.

aliciasplit

From burpees to balancing…

“I first stated in a traditional fitness arena where I attended body sculpt classes and spinning as a front desk associate at Equinox. That’s what I was exposed to so that’s what I became obsessed with. I have practiced dance my whole life and I always wanted to do aerial because I saw my friends dabble in that. It was interesting, so I decided to give a try given my dance background. This is where more flexibility work began.”

Export2017_CORE_ALICIA14239

Starting out from the beginning…

“I wasn’t able to do a head stand four years ago! When I started aerial classes, I was introduced to flexibility and hand balancing work because it’s all in the circus realm, and I found out that I really needed to be more flexible. I remember the class specifically; the instructor was asking us to do the craziest things – I couldn’t even access them because I was so far behind and weak in my technique. That’s when I started to attend more flexibility classes and more conditioning classes to get me stronger.”

Unknown-5

Practice makes perfect…

“My big goal is to put together a contortion routine that I can do for events or ambient work so that my body can get into that range without feeling like it’s going to break! When I first started hand balancing I practiced about two to three times a day, usually three classes per day, one for aerial, one for flexibility, and one for hand balancing. Recently it has shifted; I have started working with a contortion coach. I try to be really disciplined, working on my flexibility drills on my own as well as my hand balance exercises on my own. I teach 15 classes a week and it can be hard to carve out time for myself; I need about 2-3 hours to train.”

Export2017_CORE_ALICIA14305

Stretching for stress management…

“Movement is therapy; you don’t need to be in a dance or movement class to benefit from movement. Whatever feels natural is a great way to destress. When I wake up and I am feeling tight, a few basic hip circles or shoulder circles helps a ton. If you’re achy or trying to destress, I recommend starting out with simple moves that feel good for you. There are different levels of course, flexibility covers a range of destressing. On to a more advanced level, training back bends for example, your mind is in the same realm of high intensity work. It’s about mind over matter and mental strength along with being strong physically.”

Unknown-7

 

On Grace and Inner Confidence…

“It’s been instilled in me that no matter what you’re doing, you are on stage. Do not taking anything for granted – you begin well and end well. I love what my body can do I’m honored that it has allowed me to bring me to this place, and I also feel grace in having the skill sets to help others. I started from scratch and I know what it is to start from scratch. I think that’s probably the most important thing to me as a teacher. My own journey in acquiring these skills has also helped me in guiding others in their own journey.”

Export2017_CORE_ALICIA14304

Details first, results second, let’s start today…

“It sounds weird but stretching your hands and wrists before you even thinking about kicking up to a wall is key, especially if you do a lot of desk work and typing. You need to do wrist exercises and shoulder strengthening before you put all of your body weigh onto your hands. Your body is very smart it remembers everything you do whether it’s correct alignment or incorrect alignment.”

balance

“Anything is possible, don’t ever think that you can’t do something, you can, give yourself time and patience and know that it will come. “

Keep in touch with Alicia on Instagram.

Stay #perfectlybalanced with Core on Instagram.