Anyone who’s taken a yoga class from the amazing Carson Calhoun knows that there’s nothing quite like it. Not only does he teach Rocket yoga, a fast-paced-yet-accessible style born out of Ashtanga and rooted in inversions, but he’s also a total jokester, which explains his self-described job title: handstandup comedian. It’s virtually impossible to practice with him and not leave a little happier. In keeping with the pace of his practice, we asked Carson some rapid-fire questions about how he got into Rocket and why the style rocks. Soak up the inspo, then scroll down for the yogi’s go-to Rocket playlist!

What is a handstandup comedian??

As a handstandup comedian, I tell jokes during class to keep the practice lighthearted.

Tell us about your yoga journey! How did you get into it?

My mother opened a yoga studio when I was a teenager, and after 10 years of encouragement, I started practicing with her in my early twenties.

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For those who don’t know, what is Rocket yoga?

Rocket yoga is a system of yoga incorporating poses and transitions from Ashtanga’s 1st, 2nd, and 3rd series.

How were you introduced to Rocket?

There was a Rocket yoga training at my mom’s studio. I took a class, tried my first crow pose, and fell in love!

Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead, who was famously a student of Rocket yoga, actually coined the name “Rocket” because it “gets you there faster.” What did he mean by this?

It gets you to the good stuff faster. Crow pose, forearm stand, handstand, you name it!

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What lessons has Rocket taught you that you now pass on to your students?

There’s always room to have fun.

What do you love most about inversions?

The intense levels of focus and concentration required to stay balanced upside down.

What advice would you give to a beginner who who wants to try Rocket?

Try it! Take a couple classes, learn the flow and watch your practice take off!