A 22-second Instagram video is garnering a Vancouver family a lot of attention.
Certified acroyoga instructor Millissa Greenwood earlier this month posted the video of her doing a full acroyoga flow with her 18-month-old son Zeke. As the name suggests, acroyoga is a physical practice that combines yoga and acrobatics.
The video has more than 1.3 million views and 1,300 comments, and caught the attention of Cosmopolitan magazine, which posted a story on its website last week. And while Zeke has the cuteness factor (the toddler appears to be waving to his adoring fans in the video), it’s his father who’s ended up getting a lot of the spotlight.
Peter Greenwood was diagnosed with bone cancer at 18. Two years later he had his left leg amputated above the knee to stop the disease from spreading, and he now uses a prosthetic leg.
He and Millissa first met in 2009 at First Descents, a non-profit white-water rafting camp for children with cancer. He was a camp counsellor and she was a rafting instructor.
They reconnected five years ago and on one of their first weekends together, Millissa suggested they try acroyoga. She said she first got into acroyoga years ago after seeing a YouTube video — adding that as soon as she saw it she thought, “Oh wow. That needs to be in my life.”
She started practising and became a certified instructor. She mostly teaches in Vancouver, but does do some traveling to teach in other cities. As well, during the summer months she has taught at various festivals.
After almost five years of marriage, the couple practises together regularly. And while Peter’s prosthesis means the flows have to be modified, it’s still possible for them to perform most moves. He has to lock the knee of his prosthetic leg straight, and cannot rotate the ankle or flex the foot. Millissa explains that she transfers her weight to his right leg to transition between poses.
As for little Zeke, Millissa said she started practising with him from a young age, but at around eight or nine months he lost interest. She said he just started showing interest again about a week before she posted the Instagram video.
She said when she lies on the floor he’ll take her feet and put them on his belly, or if she lays on her stomach, he’ll stand on her back — adding that she follows his lead.
“It’s like a trust that Zeke and I’ve built since he was born,” Millissa said.
She said she practised throughout her pregnancy, and he has come to classes with her since he was a baby.
Peter said all of the attention has been humbling.
“We’re just living our life, doing what we’re doing not thinking it’s a big deal.”