Our current guest trainer Carmen designed AIReal Yoga™ to use an aerial hammock as a yoga prop. She also became the first to offer an aerial yoga teacher training recognized by Yoga Alliance. After the birth of her second child, Jude, Carmen was determined to heal her body from the extreme sport of gymnastics, as well as heal her spirit from abuses she had suffered along the way. The practice of aerial yoga became her saving grace.
Carmen never expected to have her own studio or brand… it all arose out of her impulse to be of service. Growing up doing highly competitive gymnastics, she endured physical, mental, emotional and sexual abuse from her coaches. Then going to UCLA on a full scholarship for gymnastics and competing on the National Championship team, Carmen experienced coaching as loving support – a complete change of approach that showed her how teaching and mentoring should really be done.
Carmen emerged from being a victim to being someone who is both more resilient and more compassionate as a result of her many life experiences. She gives special credit to two of her teachers in life. Her coach Valorie Kondos at UCLA gave Carmen and her teammates the safe space to grow into strong women and strong leaders to others. Gurmukh of Golden Bridge Yoga taught Carmen that the purpose of life is to love and serve. Service – it’s the greatest love.
Carmen is joined by her husband Gregg in this shared inspiration. As they give-back to others, in 2012 Carmen and Gregg opened The Aerial Studio in Ventura, California, offering classes in AIReal Yoga™, the aerial performing arts and theatre, acrobatics, dance, parkour, trampoline, and yoga. A unique and inspirational space, The Aerial Studio is a place to enjoy fun, health-filled forms of fitness, as well a place to train to become a professional cirque performer. At a deeper level, their studio is a haven for community, for people to laugh and learn together with loving, supportive teachers.
Carmen and Gregg also adore being parents and consider Zoe and Jude to be their best gifts to the world!
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