I’m so glad my first solid introduction to Acroyoga came from Kathy and Crystal during a weekend workshop at the Athletic Playground. Their instruction is clear, engaging, and focused on the connection and trust that develops between partners. Rather than simply checking a box and moving on, their instruction takes you deeper into the intricacies of movement, balance and communication, all while creating a space that feels curious, silly, and joyful! I followed them to the Dominican Republic for my first Acroyoga retreat and had the time of my life!! I can’t say enough about the positive impact they’ve had on me and am eternally grateful. Can’t wait for next year in the DR!
I have taken classes both from Rachel Baker and Kathy Gade. Classes included: AcroYoga, Monkey Conditioning, Dance, Thai Massage and Handstands. My majority of my experience is at Athletic Playground (Emeryville, CA) and during retreats in the Dominican Republic. It doesn’t really matter what class they will teach/do, I know it will be high quality with lots of care toward each participant.. and people will have fun! I love the holistic and balanced approach they have with training, play, nutrition and community. Anything done by Rachel Baker / Kathy Gade, I highly recommend, whether it is attending a retreat, a class, getting body work, cooking or getting a nutrition consultation.
I have had the pleasure of taking MANY Monkey Conditioning classes from Chachi at The Athletic Playground. She has a wonderfully infectious energy. No matter how early in the morning, Chachi’s welcoming smile and kind words made me glad I’d rolled out of bed. She is able to simultaneously inspire me to push my body to new levels while also being a gentle voice reminding me to listen to myself and do what’s right for me… this voice is one of the most important things I’ve taken away from my time with her… I’m starting to realize that I’m not an invincible teenager and I need this voice to tell me it’s ok to take it easy and that modifying activities isn’t failing.
Both Chachi and Kathy have a grounded goofiness, are present with people and bring a lot of joy and curiosity to their classes. Most importantly they are both attentive to people’s health and well-being, often going the extra mile to individualize and adapt workouts to ensure that people can participate and be challenged simultaneously.
Indi McCasey and Lauretta Dolch
I love taking classes with Rachel! She brings a wonderful enthusiasm and creativity to each class. Her fitness and strength are admirable and she clearly knows the science behind the movements we do. I have seen her instruct both newbies and veterans and she is always mindful of how to modify exercises to meet each person’s capabilities and goals. Her passion for making movement fun is inspirational!