The yoga clown — With beads of sweat forming on his body, Alan Lowenschuss trains in front of his North Naples home on a steamy summer afternoon. He walks back and forth on his pink circus ball, balancing, strengthening, concentrating. It is one of the exercises he practices for his job as a clown. Lowenschuss uses his driveway, bouncing on pogo sticks, juggling fire, riding a unicycle, and moving through Hula Hoops. 'I'm kind of a kid — Peter Pan-like myself. I don't want to grow up. For me, clowning around is like playing,' he says. He practices this way for three hours, often three or more days per week. 'I love kids ... I love to dance and I love to do yoga. I'm just doing what I love to do,' he says. Lowenschuss got into clowning through his interest in yoga, dance, gymnastics and years of exercise. He incorporates all this physical activity into his act, which he puts on at places like Fleischmann Park, or at parties for kids. As Banana Peel the clown, Lowenschuss tries to get the audience involved, pushing them to participate. 'It's a way to get exercise but you do it in a fun way,' he explains. He thinks kids get turned off from exercise because sometimes it can seem too much like work. But if people are given more activities to choose from, Lowenschuss says, they'll probably find something they enjoy. 'Its a lot more fun to jump around on a pogo stick or ride a unicycle than it is to ride a regular bike or go for a run,' he says. The 36-year-old came to Florida as a yoga teacher, which he still teaches throughout Collier and Lee counties. Through yoga, he found 'there was a clown inside of me waiting to come out.' A yoga clown, he calls it. Self-taught, through books and the Internet, he says he has learned many clown tricks, including how to ride a unicycle. Back in his youth, a tennis coach called him Banana Peel because he was always slipping on the court. Now he often wears a banana costume at the beginning of his performances. Banana, banana man, banana boy — it doesn't bother him what kids call him, he just wants to spark an interest in them to get up and play, too. Published August 14, 2005

Photo by Tracy Boulian, Daily News

The yoga clown — With beads of sweat forming on his body, Alan Lowenschuss trains in front of his North Naples home on a steamy summer afternoon. He walks back and forth on his pink circus ball, balancing, strengthening, concentrating. It is one of the exercises he practices for his job as a clown. Lowenschuss uses his driveway, bouncing on pogo sticks, juggling fire, riding a unicycle, and moving through Hula Hoops. "I'm kind of a kid — Peter Pan-like myself. I don't want to grow up. For me, clowning around is like playing," he says. He practices this way for three hours, often three or more days per week. "I love kids ... I love to dance and I love to do yoga. I'm just doing what I love to do," he says. Lowenschuss got into clowning through his interest in yoga, dance, gymnastics and years of exercise. He incorporates all this physical activity into his act, which he puts on at places like Fleischmann Park, or at parties for kids. As Banana Peel the clown, Lowenschuss tries to get the audience involved, pushing them to participate. "It's a way to get exercise but you do it in a fun way," he explains. He thinks kids get turned off from exercise because sometimes it can seem too much like work. But if people are given more activities to choose from, Lowenschuss says, they'll probably find something they enjoy. "Its a lot more fun to jump around on a pogo stick or ride a unicycle than it is to ride a regular bike or go for a run," he says. The 36-year-old came to Florida as a yoga teacher, which he still teaches throughout Collier and Lee counties. Through yoga, he found "there was a clown inside of me waiting to come out." A yoga clown, he calls it. Self-taught, through books and the Internet, he says he has learned many clown tricks, including how to ride a unicycle. Back in his youth, a tennis coach called him Banana Peel because he was always slipping on the court. Now he often wears a banana costume at the beginning of his performances. Banana, banana man, banana boy — it doesn't bother him what kids call him, he just wants to spark an interest in them to get up and play, too. Published August 14, 2005

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