Student Series with Danielle Abisaab

Danielle Abisaab took an Aerial Yoga class and was immediately hooked after her first class, shortly after that she discovered and partook in the Unnata Aerial Yoga teacher training course with Michelle back in 2011.  She is now teaching in Beirut / Lebanon where she has her own studio.

FLIGHT OF FANCY?… Not anymore.

I discovered Aerial Yoga in NY a few years back, on a day where my sister insisted I should try “this new type of yoga”.

dani B&W

Being that I no longer live in NY, I always feel no one should ever interfere with my busy schedule, reconnecting with my teachers, loading up on Yoga workshops and classes, hanging out with my friends or wandering aimlessly through the streets of NY. The amounts of time abandoning myself to the city I love so much were not about to be curtailed by some “yoga that wasn’t even real yoga” I thought to myself when she insisted I should go. Naturally, I displayed a great amount of resistance only to give into it in the end.

I took class at one of the leading schools and had the most fun I had had in a while. Was it the discovery of something new, the fact I swung, flipped, hung, flew and giggled all at once, was it the freedom and lightness I experienced while doing it? I don’t really know but I walked out feeling exhilarated and strangely enough very whole. I made sense of it later when I realized the practice offered an opportunity to reconnect with my inner child again, a part of me I had perhaps forgotten a bit. Despite all the obvious positive observations and excitement about this newfound activity, I still thought the element of yoga was not really highlighted and wondered even why the “yoga” part.

aerial dani by allegra

Little did I know that this very thought was going to embark me on an interesting journey. I was convinced that somewhere out there, some yoga teacher was probably teaching aerial yoga and I had to find them badly, I hoped they would be in NY for practical reasons but the big question was would he or she offer teacher training. It had become very clear by then I wanted to share this discovery with my “terrestrial” yoga students back in Beirut where I have been living and teaching for the past 8 years.

My research quickly yielded to Unnata Yoga. Just from exploring the website and reading about Michelle Dortignac extraordinaire, I knew the method she had so resourcefully put together was exactly what I was looking for. A primary focus on yoga with all that it encompasses, taught with a hammock as a prop…not the other way around.

Without hesitation, I signed up for the following Teacher Training, had a wonderful time while going through the whole experience and the rest is history. I have done other trainings in Aerial Yoga and practiced at different schools which all manage to show me in different ways who I am and where I am headed. The different influences I have received–just like with my regular practice–have merged into my own method of teaching Aerial Yoga today. Unnata Yoga, however remains the method that has–and continues to–nourish the essence of my teachings, perhaps because it is directly plugged and remains true to the source.

Taking flight and feeling weightless–a dream most of us share–is no longer a fantasy and has been made possible by many fine people out there. Being able to share it with the rest of the world with precision, creativity and fun is thanks to the grace and passion of Michelle Dortignac.

— Danielle Abisaab

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