News Sections
Audio
Ex-Human Cannonball Performer Opens Yoga Studio In Indiana
Updated November 28, 2016 8:09 AM
 Print    Archive    RSS
human cannon ball.jpg
Tina and Brian Miser stand atop their double-barreled cannon during a performance last year as human cannonballs with the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus.

(PERU) - Like most people, Tina Miser has had her fair share of aches and pains. But unlike most people, she came by those aches in one of the oddest ways possible: being shot from a cannon.

Carson Gerber, of the Associated Press reports, for years, Miser and her husband, Brian, have traveled the country as a human-cannonball act. It's a unique gig that only a handful of people in history have ever done professionally.

In just the last few months, the 41-year-old Peru native has been blasted from a cannon around 30 times in cities like Bluffton, Indiana, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

In the past, those cannon shots have led to achy hips and sore knees. But during her most recent stint as a human cannonball, those pains never came.

The difference?

Miser started practicing yoga.

"Now, there's a whole hour-and-a-half routine I go through to make sure my body is going to be ready for the next shot," Miser said. "I never did that before. There was a little stretching here and there, but it was mostly just like, 'Let's go to the next shot!'"

Miser said she became a yoga convert the first time she seriously gave it a try. After just three months of going to classes three times a week, all the pain she accumulated over the years as a human projectile disappeared.

"I thought, 'This is amazing.' I was hooked," she said.

Now, Miser and her business partner, Carrie Gallahan, have spent the last year getting others hooked on the ancient practice at their studio called Joyful Yoga.

The two opened the place in December at 10 S. Wabash St. inside a space that was formerly occupied by an insurance company, where it's now the first and only yoga studio located in Peru.

Friends and family helped renovate the space, which boasts a comfortable workout space with a wooden floor and a skylight that floods the studio with sunlight.

Over the last year, around 150 students have signed up to take classes from Gallahan and Miser, who are both certified yoga instructors. They also employ two other instructors to teach classes.

Those classes are offered every day, and include techniques geared toward beginners and more advanced students. They offer gentle yoga, chair yoga, women's dance yoga and core fusion, as well as a meditation class.

Gallahan said it's been remarkable to watch students become healthier and more flexible through the studio, especially the many senior citizens who have signed up for classes. In fact, the most popular class they offer is chair yoga, which is geared towards older people.

She said one woman in her 80s couldn't bend over to untie her shoes, so she always wore them during practices. Within a few weeks, she was flexible enough to reach down to her feet.

"Seeing things like that makes you feel even more excited that we're here and providing an opportunity for people to explore yoga and improve their health through practicing it," Gallahan said.

The yoga studio has gained a strong following over the last year, and that's kind of surprising, she said, considering she and Miser had never even considered opening a studio before they randomly met during a yoga class in Logansport a couple of years ago.

The two had known each other as kids when they both performed with the Peru Amateur Circus in the 1990s. After that, they went their separate ways, and never saw each other again until Miser walked into the same class Gallahan was taking.

Gallahan said she had started doing yoga a couple of years earlier to help treat the aches and pains she accumulated as a marathon runner. Since 2003, she has completed 11 full marathons. Her most recent run was two years ago in New York City.

Over the years, all that running took a toll on her body, she said.

"I was broken," Gallahan said. "I had run so many miles without really taking care of myself, and I had lots of aches and pains. I needed to heal my body. It hurt to run. It hurt to walk. Yoga helped with that immensely."

Miser said she and Gallahan instantly reconnected over their passion for yoga despite a 20-year gap since they had last seen each other. Soon, they were taking classes to become certified instructors, but they still had no intention of opening their own studio.

That changed when one of them made a flippant remark about opening one in Peru.

"The conversation started with, 'Wouldn't it be nice if there was a studio in Peru?'" Gallahan said. "That conversation led to another one. Before we knew it, we were looking at properties and space. Then it happened. It's hard to believe that we've been here for a year now."

Before they even opened the studio, she and Miser sat down and wrote out a mission statement, which stated, "Joyful Yoga's mission is to create and support a community within Peru where the wisdom, wellness, and joy of yoga is accessible to all."

Gallahan said they've stuck to that mission, despite the fact that they haven't made a dime since the studio opened. She said the class fees they charge have generated enough revenue to pay the rent and the two other instructors, but she and Miser have only broken even.

But that's better than what they expected. Gallahan said they both had pledged to pour their own money into the business for two years to keep it open if it wasn't turning a profit.

"The entire goal was to just bring yoga to our hometown and make it accessible to all," she said. "We both just had such great results from taking yoga as practitioners that we knew there was so much more to it. We wanted to share that with people and make it available."

The two have also had to make the yoga studio work around their other full-time jobs. Miser not only sometimes travels as a human cannonball. She's also a nurse in Logansport. Gallahan frequently travels for her full-time job as an administrator for a senior-living company.

Miser said it can get stressful managing so many gigs, but that's one of the big reasons she does yoga - to manage the stress.

The other big reason? Taking the edge off after getting fired out of a cannon.

"I think the most awesome thing is you can get shot out of a cannon without any aches or pains," Miser said. "That's the proof in the pudding. You can't get more evidence than that."



« Previous Article
Next Article »

 Print    Archive    RSS

Have a question or comment about a news story? Send it to comments@wbiw.com

Advertise with 1340 AM WBIW
Find more about Weather in Bedford, IN
Advertise with 1340 AM WBIW


1340 AM WBIW, Bedford's Place To Talk. Serving Lawrence and surrounding counties since 1948!

© 2017 Ad-Venture Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.   WBIW.com and Listen Live Powered by HPC

Advertise  |  Careers  |  Contests  |  About  |  Feedback