AIREAL YOGA STUDIO
4476 Dupont Ct. Suite B, Ventura.
OUR COMMUNITY [ open doors ]
Aerial yoga has become more mainstream and has grown in popularity, and more studios are offering the practice. What sets AIReal Yoga Studio in Ventura apart from the others is that it is the
first and only aerial yoga school registered with Yoga Alliance.
“Aerial yoga is a form of yoga that uses a hammock as a tool,”
says Carmen Curtis, aerial yoga founder and owner of AIReal
Yoga Studio. It all began with the idea of using a hammock
to help deepen the stretch, strengthen the core, and assist in
safely inverting without compressing the spine. With a colorful
background in the aerial world, from training as a gymnast to
creating aerial performances for Cirque du Soleil’s “Le Reve”,
Curtis shares her style with the Ventura community and beyond. Through her teacher training program, other studios have
adopted Curtis’ form of aerial yoga.
This practice stems from Hatha and vinyasa yoga and uses the
hammock to align and assist. “For those new to yoga, they can
use the hammock to help them, (while) for the most advanced
yogis, we can deepen the stretch and take them to a new level,”
The cozy orange-walled studio is nestled within the Airealistic
Circus and Flying school, also owned by Curtis. Although aerial
yoga is the focus, a variety of other yoga and movement forms
are also offered, including Vinyasa Yoga, barre fitness, dance,
and Pilates. With an emphasis on community, the space showcases local artists’ work displayed along the walls; locally-made
crafts and natural and organic products are sold in the gift store.
Melissa Chua is journalism graduate from CSUN and Los Angeles-based writer. She is an
avid crossfitter and loves playing with arm balancing poses and inversions.
BE THE CHANGE YOGA
3943 Portola Parkway, Irvine.
Be the Change Yoga has created a buzz throughout the Orange
County yoga community since its opening in December of last
year. It boasts the title of OC’s first donation-based yoga studio.
Be the Change offers an eclectic collection of wellness services—
from Kundalini and kids yoga to acupuncture and yoga therapy.
The emphasis is on “breath-centered asana with modifications,” says Katie Sheldon Allen. She and co-owner Allison
Martin Prince drew inspiration from Bhakti Yoga Shala and
Santa Monica Power Yoga when they envisioned the impact
they want their studio to make. “We want to be a hub of spiritual nightlife in OC, with kirtan, live music, speakers, and inspirational films.” For yogis yearning for something beyond the
physical practice, Be the Change provides an eye-opening array
of opportunities to take yoga beyond the mat including speciality classes, kirtan, art installations, a panel discussion about
activism, and more.
As the name implies, the studio aims to make positive change
throughout the community, in part by donating a portion of its
profits to various nonprofits. In the short time that it has been
open, Be the Change has partnered with area treatment centers
and schools, introduced new practices to Orange County, and
hosted events that encourage people to step outside their everyday routines and connect authentically with one another. It
continues to broaden the definition of yoga in Orange County.
By Alisha Vasquez, a yoga teacher, world traveler, bookworm, and handstand enthusiast: