Student Series with Karen Patterson

Karen Patterson is a production manager for a small accessories company who also creates her own vegan beauty products. She took her first Aerial Yoga class at Sacred Sounds Yoga last October.

karen-patterson-fixedEver since I saw an image of yogis suspended from dangling silks, I had been curious to try Aerial Yoga but there was always that thing holding me back. That thing being work, social obligations, chaos of life, intimidation of trying something new, fear, you name it. Like most of us, I would use it as an excuse. But after a summer of challenging myself with surfing and stand up paddle boarding, fall came around and I decided it was time to try an Aerial Yoga class.

Now it was me time. Time to be brave and explore the concept of Aerial Yoga. I showed up to Michelle’s class at Sacred Sounds not knowing what to expect. Did I need to be an acrobat, dancer, or seasoned yogi? No. I soon learned I just had to be myself. Intimidated by the silky blue hammock at first, I soon learned it was like an old friend. The hammock would help me balance, as well as strengthen and open my poses. It is comforting and supporting, while evoking a childlike sense of fun and inner peace. From the first class, hanging upside down came surprisingly natural to me. Michelle guided us through warm-up poses so seamlessly that I felt at ease to take the next big step or flip into the inverted state. It was hard not to giggle the first time I found myself heels over head. It is very freeing, while very centering at the same time. By my second yoga class, the hammock no longer was a source of uneasiness but a vehicle of unlimited possibility. What new poses would we explore? What new muscle groups would I discover? How would I progress in my practice? I noticed my body opening and stretching in ways I did not know possible and it felt amazing.

After a month of classes two times a week, Aerial Yoga has made a profound change in my life. It has forced me to focus and let go of fear. It has taught me to trust myself more and has helped to strengthen my mind body connection. My yoga practice on the ground has improved tremendously; my poses are stronger, my breathing deeper, and my fear of inversion into headstands waning. I now look forward to escaping the chaos of the city to enter my own silk cocoon, emerging relaxed and empowered.

— Karen Patterson

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