You may have seen beautiful photos of Aerial Yoga in social media posts and think “wow that’s interesting but it looks hard”. Aerial Yoga also known as flying yoga became popular not only because of how good it looks in photos but because this fitness trend actually offers lots of benefits for everyone (of every body type and level).
This November, we feature Sharon Klinger, the owner of Schuylkill Aerial and Wellness. Sharon opened her very own studio in Pottsville, the heart of Schuylkill County because of how aerial yoga personally affected her wellbeing after a serious injury. Today, the studio offers Aerial Yoga and Bungee Fitness classes "from NONE to extremely fit" individuals.
We asked Sharon a few questions to learn more about her personal journey with Aerial Yoga and her story of success.
You have a beautiful studio that offers a variety of classes, how and why did you start?
I first saw that Aerial Yoga existed through advertising last January 2018. At that time, I started looking for classes however was injured from a Crossfit competition, then again during training and couldn't take a class. I have always enjoyed and participated in Gymnastics from a very young age and wanted to continue this type of activity. I searched around my area for classes and when I was able, about a year later after recuperation and a lot of Yoga classes, I tried an Aerial Yoga class. I was hooked after the first class and wanted to bring Aerial classes to where I reside in Schuylkill County, PA. We have nothing like it in the area and have to travel a distance to find it.
How did aerial yoga help in your healing journey with your back injury?
With my back issue, I waited a year to try Aerial Yoga to make sure I was strong enough and healed. Since I began, I have not had the need to go to the chiropractor at all. I was going minimally every month with the weight training, etc. that I was doing. I only went after 6 months just to be sure everything was okay. Doc said he was kind of disappointed because I didn't make too much noise. The decompression on my back greatly helps with inversions along with body postures.
What made you choose to offer both aerial yoga and bungee fitness to your studio?
I personally enjoy being active and again especially with my gymnastics background, I wanted to continue a similar activity as an adult. I also then accidentally found and pursued bungee training and again I loved it! Our community has no activities like either and I wanted to share it!.
As the pioneer to introduce this new trend, how was this idea welcomed by everyone?
My community was so excited about Aerial classes coming to the area. Although I am serving the entire Schuylkill County, people travel and want to come to try it and I've had all positive reviews. I am located in the center of the county, so realistically, they will travel not more than 20 miles or so.
Are there any exercises you recommend for students to try at home to improve their aerial skills?
Definitely strength and core training. I implement these in my classes. Exercises such as sit-ups, pull-ups, planks, step-ups, leg lifts, etc.
As a studio owner and an aerial yogi, what experience can you never forget and why?
The teacher training and different Yoga studios that I have visited were key in learning the specifics of each exercise and poses. I traveled and visited about 10 studios, each one offering something unique. I had a wonderful first positive and encouraging experience for my first class and was so surprised at what I could do, along with how fun it was.
Tell us your practice style and how did you choose your yoga method?
My goal for classes is to relax, focus, strengthen, and have fun. I can't say that I have or follow a specific style as there are so many classic yoga studios around. I wanted to be different, down to earth and realistic for the area that I serve. I have a very upbeat personality, so I am more active and moving in my approach.
How do you encourage people of all ages and body types to try aerial fitness?
I use real-life examples including my own with my back injury. I also have a 65-year-old woman who never exercised in her life, another who had a heart attack, and many beginners. I support what they want to do but encourage them to try more giving them step by step instructions.
Did you encounter a challenging situation because of how diverse your students are?
I feel that my challenge is offering the right classes at the right times at the right price. Our area is economically disadvantaged, so I need to keep the prices down to get the most people to come. I want to be able to serve everyone and give people something fun AND healthy to do.
What is your favorite quote?
"You can choose to be happy or choose to be miserable. The amount of energy is the same" also, "Live your best life today"
Next time you’re in thePottsvillearea, be sure to check out Schuylkill Aerial and Wellness. Sharon is a wonderful soul! She will share her knowledge and help you achieve your goal. To learn more about her classes, check out her webpage athttps://schuylkillaerialandwellness.com/ or visit her Facebook pagehttps://www.facebook.com/schuylkillaerialandwellness
Whether times are good or extremely challenging, many of us need a community to embrace -- even if our only way to connect has been virtual for much of 2020. Now that some aerial studios are allowed to start to open up again, many aerialists and aerial yogis will be breathing a sigh of relief as they anticipate getting back to the practice.