This page serves as your guide to finding an Aviana Instructor near you! The beauties depicted on this page have each attended an Aviana Aerial Yoga Teacher Training and are already proudly flying their wings as a certified instructor or are on their way completing their remaining modules and practice teaching hours.
See if there is one teaching at a location near you to enjoy the unique Aviana Yoga experience!
The Sisterhood of the Silks
Kim Insley, IL
Physical fitness has always been an important part of Kim’s life. After a hip injury in her teens, and years of running had taken their toll on her body, she looked for a form of physical exercise that would be gentler than running. What she found had been with her all along--yoga. Since childhood, her coaches incorporated the physicality of yoga into her gymnastics and track practices, and she continued to use those physical poses throughout her adult life. It wasn’t until her early 40’s that Kim discovered and connected to the emotional benefits of the practice. She knew right away that she needed to share these benefits with others. She completed her E-RYT 200 hour certification and continues to seek out new ways to develop a safe, nurturing, and supportive community in which students are empowered to elevate their yoga practice. Along this journey, she discovered aerial yoga. The first time Kim experienced the hammock’s cocooning and soothing affects, she was amazed. And then came the inversions! The first time she went upside down in a hammock, she felt a release of fear and anxiety, and reconnected with her inner-child. Within a year of her first aerial yoga class, Kim completed the Aviana Aerial Yoga Teacher Training Program, and has not looked back (or down) since.
Currently teaching class series at Mindful Movements Pilates and Yoga in Glen Ellyn, IL
Melissa Conrad, IL
After being invited to attend a yoga class taught by one of her colleagues in 2008, Melissa quickly discovered her love for the simplicity, elegance, and mind-body connection of yoga – a love that has taken her on many journeys both here and abroad.
Over the course of the last 8 years she has started a college yoga club, been involved with many studios in the greater Chicago area, has traveled abroad to facilitate retreats on holistic health, and plunged headfirst into the beauty and grace of Aviana’s 50 hour aerial yoga teacher training program.
“I’m so passionate about helping people reach a better understanding of their inner-dialogue; how their inward thoughts, feelings, and emotions relate to their external relationships and quality of life. Aerial yoga embodies that connection, and helps you understand the tension between control and surrender- of holding on and letting go. It’s a vital lesson that is missing in much of our culture.”
Melissa brings a playful and upbeat edge to her classes, encouraging growth and teaching her students to go one step further than they did yesterday. She believes in the therapeutic benefits of utilizing the tool of the aerial hammock and its role in helping her students “reach for new heights,” both within themselves and the world around them. Her goal is to create that sense of release and empowerment in every class.
When she is not teaching or practicing, she is spontaneously dancing, find new ways to cook bacon, making art, and happily managing one of Chicago’s only 100% organic juice bars.
Currently teaching classes at AIR studio in the city of Chicago, IL.
Farrah Brown, IL
Farrah's passion for yoga started in 2004 as a way of managing grief and identity issues. "I had so many intense emotions and questions and needed an outlet to find rest in my body and soul." Finding that peace and stillness that comes to your mind and soul through mindful movement in your body was literally a life-saver for her! "I went to my weekly yoga class to reconnect with myself and allow healing to come to my body and soul."
Farrah practiced yoga on and off for about 10years, Inspired by some beautifully authentic instructors, Farrah completed her 200hr-RYT certification in 2015. "Being able to take my practice to the next level was such a gift, and one I knew I was meant to share with others."
Farrah was introduced to aerial yoga through a friend and was immediately hooked. "It was such a joyful and yet invigorating practice. I loved it from minute one!" She learned of Holly and Aviana Yoga through social media and signed up for the teacher training, taking the next leap in her yoga journey. Farrah just recently finished her 50hr Aerial Yoga Teacher Training and is excited to see what is coming up just around the bend!
"Aerial yoga is such a powerful tool for healing the soul. The graceful movements and freedom that come from being in the silks uplift your heart and make you feel light as air. And to be able to get upside down and be totally supported by the hammock is just the best feeling in the world!" Farrah brings her passion for peace and restoration of the soul into her teaching, hoping to bring a little bit of healing and joy to each student that crosses her path. 'We are all unique souls with unique needs. My goal is to come along side people and walk this journey with them."
Farrah is a cardiac nurse part-time and mom of two amazing boys! She teaches weekly mat yoga classes and sometimes subs for aerial classes at Mindful Movements in Glen Ellyn and Abhyaasa Yoga in Naperville. Hopefully more aerial classes will be added to her schedule very soon!!
Bridget Crowe, CO
Having taught classical Pilates since 2004 Bridget has developed an extraordinary understanding of the body, movement, and teaching people how to inhabit their physical body with newfound depth.
Bridget has been practicing Yoga for over 20 years and has developed a deep relationship with the practice. When Bridget found Aerial Yoga she knew it was a no brainer to incorporate into her studio, the support, resistance, creativity, and excitement of Aerial Yoga parallels Pilates on a core level.
Providing people the exposure to Pilates and Aerial Yoga has turned out to be a beautiful compliment. The stretch, release, space, and ease the Aerial provides has been supported by the strength, alignment, and core gained in Pilates. Bridget is so grateful for this lovely addition to her life and career, especially as she has been given the gift to watch people SOAR.
You can find Bridget at Body Essentials in Dillon Colorado teaching Aviana style Aerial Yoga, classical Pilates and ballet barre classes. www.bodyessentialspilates.com
Katlyn Moss, IL
Katlyn Moss has practiced the teachings of yoga on and off the mat for about five years. At twenty-years-young she decided to dive deep into the world of aerial yoga and even become an instructor. Her ambitions are never ending and her dreams are sky high.
She holds yoga incredibly close to the heart for all of the lessons is has taught her in becoming a more mindful person. She also has an extreme love for all performance arts especially her hoop! Her days are always full of yoga, lyra, aerial sling, aerial yoga and all types of flow arts, including fire spinning. Katlyn's favorite part of being an instructor now is that she can tie together her two passions in life; performing arts and helping people.
Her motto has always been "stay inspired and never stop inspiring others." She is forever grateful for the opportunites and amazing people her aerial hammock has brought her.
Sarah Messer Keenan, VA
Sarah completed her 200 RYT in Vinyasa at Opal Yoga (Charlottesville, VA) with Katie Silcox and Karen Thomas. She first discovered yoga in high school as a silent and peaceful way of escaping the stress and rigor of athletics and academics. Throughout her college years, she wandered across and outside the country, finding yoga in various places and eventually landing in her own solid practice that grows with her each and every day. The more yoga she does, the more peace and serenity it brings to her life.
Sarah’s classes reflect her various travels and adventures, emphasizing styles and poses that inspire greater self-love, appreciation of our surroundings, and wonder for the unknown. Sarah is ever curious and experimental, combining vinyasa flow, yin, and other styles with a variety of interwoven thematic elements. While she has already participated in studies of Aerial Yoga, Ayurveda, Agama Yoga, Tantra, and Vinyasa, her pursuit of deeper and more varied knowledge continues. Her intention in both her own practice and the classes she teaches is to integrate practices of mindful breathing for deliberate movement and greater body awareness, appreciation, and acceptance. She inspires curiosity, dynamic and creative flow, supported self-exploration of soul, playfulness, and discovery of each of our body’s amazing capabilities.
Rachael Yovanoff, CO
After taking her first yoga at the age of 14, Rachael developed a deep love and respect for the practice of yoga. In 2014, she began practicing aerial silks and found a passion for flying. Combing aerial arts and yoga has been a dream come true and she loved to explore and deepen asanas with the assist of aerial hammocks.
She loves having the ability to make inversions available to so many students and helping aerialist and other athletes soften and slow down while still enjoying the thrill of being upside down.
She currently lives in Fort Collins, CO and can be found teaching at Live Beyond Limit.
Mary Jo Place, IL
Mary Jo Place is a Registered 200 hour Certified Yoga Instructor, recognized by the Yoga Alliance in Vinyasa Flow. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Blackburn College located in Carlinville, Illinois and played competitive college basketball at John A. Logan College in Carterville, Illinois and at Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois.
As a former athlete, Mary Jo turned to yoga in order to help her achieve her fitness goals after suffering an injury. “It was during my yoga journey that I discovered Aerial Yoga and fell in love with it and how the hammock can help with achieve certain poses that I couldn’t do on the mat practice”. She understands that every individual has different levels of fitness goals and body types. She teaches with compassion and grace to her students at any fitness level.
Mary Jo’s yoga philosophy is to help you understand your body and treat it with patience and kindness. Regular yoga practice helps in achieving overall balance of the mind, body and spirit. When connecting the breath with each pose it builds strength, endurance and balance throughout the entire body. Come experience the benefits of yoga with Mary Jo and see yourself transform.
Her aerial yoga certification is currently in process, holding space for her with love and gratitude.
Amie Langus, IL
Amie's undying passion for yoga was ignited sometime in 2012 as a result of feeling an imbalance in her own life. "Yoga became this amazing lens through which I could start to see my life in a different way. It changed everything for me."
Knowing the power of transformation yoga embodies, Amie began studying, taking workshops and making an effort to experience as many different teaching styles as she could so that she could begin to share this amazing practice with others. It was at an Aviana workshop led by Holly Johnson that Amie was introduced to aerial yoga. "The release I felt in the hammock was like nothing I had ever felt before." Amie knew that this was her path. Soon after, she began working toward 50 hours in teacher training through Aviana Yoga.
Amie brings a peaceful, light-hearted approach to her classes. She believes in aerial yoga as a truly healing experience and strives to bring that intention to each one of her classes.
When she is not teaching or attending workshops you can find her on the slopes, surfing the Illinois River, or finding new ways to get upside down.
Currently teaching class series at Abhyaasa Yoga in Naperville, IL
Rachel Stoehr, NC
Expression through movement has been a key part of Rachel’s life. She found at a young age that dance was a therapy to help her through her life trials. Dance carried her through life until a medical condition called Hypermobility Syndrome took its toll on her body and she could no longer enjoy dancing without the pain and injuries.
She searched for another mechanism to help her find her emotional release again and came across Aerial Yoga. She had taken a few yoga classes in her lifetime and her dance instructors incorporated it in classes, but yoga was still a new experience for her.
After months of realigning her body and focusing on strengthening instead of getting more flexible, Rachel found that not only was her body healing, but Aerial Yoga was fulfilling her as much as dance had.
Rachel guides her students with authenticity and a light-hearted approach; encouraging each student to grow within themselves and within their practice. She believes that Aerial Yoga is a healthful practice bringing balance between the mind, body and spirit.
When Rachel is not in a hammock, she is dancing around her kitchen, traveling or discovering new adventures to be had.
Rachel is currently in the process of moving to the North Carolina coast and is eager to teach again soon.
Tricia Baker, IL
For Tricia, dance and fitness has always been about the energetic, physical rewards. Yoga classes were never an interest to her, as they seemed to be too ‘slow’. When she was invited by a yogi friend to try an aerial class, she was instantly addicted! The fun flows that harnessed the rhythm of the body were energetic, but also ignited a space and freedom in the mind. Aerial yoga became a process of self-observation that helped her connect to her spirit and self-awareness in a way that no other fitness class had done before.
Tricia was drawn to teach because she wanted to deepen her awareness of aerial yoga and share her enthusiasm and fulfilling experience with others. Her approach is a playful, self-exploration practice without expectations or judgment. She hopes to instill a sense of lightness and ease in students. Tricia promotes aerial yoga as a tool to help you explore what you’re capable of and how you can progress in a safe and fun way. She hopes students approach aerial yoga in a responsive manner, with an open mind and a willingness to try!
Tricia feels really blessed to be a part of Aviana and is grateful for the wonderful, inspirational support as her aerial journey unfolds.
Outside of practicing on her hammock, Tricia loves feeding her backyard squirrels, sharing root beer floats with her Yellow Lab, Camden, and taking long, lazy road trips with her husband. She possibly sees a relationship with the mat in her future.
Tricia is currently apprenticing with the founder and Master Level Instructor, Holly Johnson, her certification is projected to be completed by the end of July.
Stay tuned for her teaching locations!!
Heather Poffenbarger, IL
Heather Poffenbarger is a 200hr certified yoga instructor as well as a 50hr aerial yoga instructor. Heather started her yoga journey in 2013 and completed her 200hr power teacher training in August 2014. Since then she has been teaching at various locations in Morris, IL; Aurora, IL; and Oswego, IL.
She started taking aerial yoga classes last year and fell in love with the practice in the air. Heather recently completed her aerial yoga teacher training this year. She will continue her love for aerial yoga by teaching in Morris at 2 locations the Forte Arts Center and The Fit Bar.
Jamie Yuresko, CO
Jamie is fascinated by the possibilities the human body is capable of and in turn was introduced to yoga in 2008. She finds joy in life through the link with another human spirit, connection purely with the moment within the realm of athletics, outdoor adventures, and currently silks aerial acrobatics. Jamie deepens a new understanding of what it takes to serve the global community by sharing her passion of Yoga and Aerial Yoga.
She received a 200hr Vinyasa flow certification taught by Blossom Yoga in Laramie Wyoming over a course of 8+ months in May 2013 and taught yoga at Blossom Yoga and currently at Live Beyond Limit Studio. Jamie expanded a deeper knowledge of yoga by gaining an Aerial Yoga certification through Aviana Teacher Training in March-August 2016.
Jamie is inspired and ready to refine her knowledge through study, practice and the examples of others. She brings a unique way of living yoga every day, yoga asana and the Sanskrit language she will ignite a passion for Yoga and a passion for self in each person she comes in contact with.
“In each class during service of yoga you ground, you let go, your body works together as one (whole component), you experience growth in each posture fully (depth of feeling), process of life, recognize unity, oneness, and growth of expansions.” Emily Brown
From that energy and enthusiasm, Jamie believes that each one of us can change our lives in a positive and amazing way and find their own smile in their breath; no matter how challenging the edge. Most importantly her classes are accessible to yogis of all potential shapes, ages, and interests. “Lokaha samastah sukhino bhavantu” – “May all beings everywhere be happy and free.” Anonymous
“I am Jamie Lynn Yuresko, I AM THAT!” Jamie Yuresko
Bobby Ackerman, CO
Our Mister of the Silks!
Growing up as a dancer, Bobby naturally found himself immersed in a lifestyle of fitness, health, and great body awareness. Dancing various styles from classical ballet to belly dance during his childhood into his early 20's. With some recent life changing experiences in 2014, Bobby rediscovered himself though the daily practice of yoga and meditation. Finding great love for yoga he was introduced to aerial yoga falling deeply in love after the first try leading to his new aerial passion. In 2014 Bobby began training in the circus style of aerial dance as a fun hobby which quickly lead to his life's passion of becoming a professional aerialist.
Incorporating his daily yoga/meditation practices and aerial dance training he was suggested by the owner of Local Fort Collins yoga/aerial studio Live Beyond Limit that he should teach aerial yoga! Loving the idea and wanting to share the joy of aerial yoga with the world- Following through in March of 2015 by taking the Aviana Teacher Training with the lovely creator herself, Holly. With very little teaching experience it took a bit to break him out of the shell, but it soon became a second nature. While finishing his aerial yoga teacher training, Bobby also began his aerial performance career by performing the entire summer of 2015 and continues to follow his passion.
Bringing grace, elegance, and an eye for proper body form he provides a playful yet safe and informational class. He hopes to inspire and help his students find trust, love, and playfulness in themselves. With high hopes of them taking that from class and incorporating it in their everyday life's, discovering what passions resonate in their souls too! We all deserve to life a happy meaningful life he says.
Bobby is currently instructing at the Live Beyond Limit studio in Fort Collins, CO.
Candace Solano, CO
After attending her first yoga class in 2011, Candace Solano knew she had participated in a life changing event. She was mesmerized by the experience and fell in love with the exploration and connection of the mind and body through movement and breath. Yoga spoke to Candace’s physical and spiritual soul and became the guide for living her life from that day forward.
Deciding she wanted to learn more about yoga and possibly teach someday, Candace completed her initial 200-hour yoga teacher training in the Viniyoga tradition in 2015. To deepen and expand her knowledge of yoga to meet the physical and emotional needs of her students, Candace completed both her advanced 300-hour certification in Hatha Integrated Vinyasa Flow from the Colorado School of Yoga, and 50-hour Aviana aerial yoga training in June, 2016.
Candace teaches a variety of classes including Aerial Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Viniyoga, Gentle/Restorative Yoga, and Chair Yoga to facilitate the deepening of self awareness and helping students move towards their highest potential.
Her students are wide-ranging in experience, age, and mobility from high school student athletes to retired active adults. When attending one of Candace’s classes, expect encouragement and playfulness while exploring and deepening one’s own practice. She brings to her classes a mixture of compassion and caring inspiring students to deepen the connection of their mind, body, and spirit through movement and breath.
Candace is dedicated to championing the whole being, and offering choices and alternatives so ALL students feel success, whether a seasoned “yogi” or a new beginner.
Marinda Stopforth, IL
Certification currently in process....holding space for her of love and gratitude!
Marinda is currently apprenticing with the founder and Master Level Instructor, Holly Johnson, at the Morton Arboretum. Stay tuned for her future teaching locations!