We’re so delighted that CT Aerial Yoga has been featured on the FOX61 Bucket List page!
“The second I tried it I was like hooked,” said Erin Sexton. “It kind of got me further into my regular yoga practice, so the two together are just great.”
Watch the video and check out the article at the link below:
I was so inspired by the recent blog post by Michelle Dortignac “The Heart of the Matter – What Message Do You Send Out To The World? (published March 13th, 2020 on aerialyoga.com) I decided to write about the meaning behind the Connecticut Aerial Yoga (CAY) name and logo.
Right from the beginning, I knew that I did not want my logo to be gender specific or to convey that a particular body type is necessary to practice aerial yoga. Aerial yoga is accessible to most bodies and I wanted my logo to reflect that truth. All are welcome at CAY: all genders, all races, all body types, and all levels of experience. I settled on a gender-neutral figure, equal parts grounded and elevated, displaying qualities of grace, flow, ease and strength. The figure is shaped as a curved “Y” symbolizing that at the center of aerial yoga is yoga. Bright and lively colors express the spirit of the practice.
Now that the visual element was in place, the next step was settling on a name for my business. My husband actually came up with the name. I started teaching aerial yoga classes in 2013 in Hartford, CT. At that time, there were only two studios (to the best of my knowledge) offering aerial yoga instruction in Connecticut. Located in the center of a small state, he suggested naming my studio Connecticut Aerial Yoga.
Initially, I was reluctant to even include the word “aerial” in my business name as it implies that in an aerial yoga class we are always airborne. While many potential students are curious and eager to try aerial yoga, there are an equal number of people who are intimidated by the idea. When people discover that I teach aerial yoga, they often think that I am a circus artist (which I am) and that aerial yoga is synonymous with being an aerialist (it is not) and that the practice takes place entirely in the air (definitely not true).
It has been a consistent practice of mine, both inside and outside the studio, to educate others that aerial yoga is ‘real yoga.’ And while we do take our yoga postures into the air, the method I teach, the Unnata® Method, is a carefully developed method of Hatha Yoga incorporating the hammock prop.
The CAY logo holds deep-rooted meaning that reflects the core values behind the CAY brand. CAY values inclusiveness, union between body and spirit, balance between the ground and air, and overall delight in movement that aerial yoga provides.
I absolutely love my logo. Added bonus – it makes a fabulous T-shirt!
The CAY logo was designed by the late Paul S. Selwyn, a well-known artist, illustrator and art director in the Greater Hartford area.
CT Aerial Yoga is excited to be featured in the October 2017 edition of Valley Life! In her article Shimmy and Swing, staff writer Olivia Piper looks at how local women are getting empowered and finding confidence in their femininity through unique classes offered in the area.
Belly dancing with instructor Gia Khalsa, aerial yoga with CT Aerial Yoga owner/instructor Jayne Dean, and yin aerial yoga with CT Aerial Yoga instructor Beth Gibbs, are the classes highlighted in the article.
Read more about these three classes in the full article excerpted here in PDF format.
Many of us are drawn to aerial yoga for the health benefits: stronger muscles, improved flexibility and ease of motion, improved alignment and a calmer nervous system. Others are attracted to the novelty, playfulness and the opportunity to invert and flip. Some of us find a connection with spirit through aerial yoga. The fabric hammock becomes an extension of our being. Enclosed inside the hammock, hidden from view, spiritual gifts can grow. Our physical conversation with the hammock sharpens and strengthens our skills of inner looking and listening. Supported and held by the hammock, we fall into the immense depths within and plug into the great mystery that is life, discovering that we are indeed “the universe in ecstatic motion.” (Rumi)
Some questions for contemplation:
1. How is the holy mystery moving in my aerial yoga practice right now?
2. What spiritual gifts are being shaped and formed through my aerial yoga practice?
3. How is my aerial yoga practice food for spiritual growth?
4. Are there times during aerial yoga that I feel God’s radiance within?
5. Are there times during aerial yoga that I feel spirit, like gravity, pulling me to the balanced center of myself?
6. Are there times during aerial yoga that I feel God’s hands holding me?
West Hartford Press / September 18, 2014
I just love this photo. I think it captures how playful aerial yoga can be. The students in this photo are exploring the back straddle inversion. In all of my aerial yoga classes, I include time to “play” with being upside down. Extended hold times allow students to deepen into their experience and to experiment with variations of the posture. Students can investigate a wide variety of possibilities: What if I tip this way or that way? What if I bend my knee, or grab my ankle, or hook a foot? What sensations do I experience? What feels good for my body? Where do I want to linger? How do I know when it is time to come out of the posture? Research has shown that play, especially whole body play, promotes neurological growth and development. More importantly, play brings joy and contentment. Come join us in the aerial yoga playground!
Unnata® Aerial Yoga and Yin Yoga have a lot in common. While Unnata® Aerial Yoga does involve a lot of Yang Yoga – yoga that strengthens the muscles – there is also a distinct Yin quality to this style of aerial yoga. Woven into the practice are longer held Yin-like postures that relax the muscles in order to stress the joints, ligaments, and fascia. Both Unnata® Aerial Yoga and Yin Yoga embrace the effects of gravity to realign the body. Supported by both gravity and the hammock, the deeper, denser, connective tissue of the body receive a gentle compression. This compression nourishes, hydrates and restores the vitality of the tissue resulting in greater ease of motion. Many postures in Unnata® Aerial Yoga are quiet and still. We literally ‘hang out’ and let gravity do the work. And, within this stillness, we cultivate an internal focus, an introversion of mind, which is such an important element of yoga.
I am thrilled to be offering aerial yoga classes in Hartford. When I first started teaching Kripalu Yoga at the LivingWell Centre last year, I immediately recognized that the studio would be a perfect home for aerial yoga. Of course, I hadn’t received my training yet, nor did I know a thing about rigging the fabric hammocks! Fortunately, my training confirmed what I already knew; aerial yoga would indeed come to Hartford, Connecticut.
There are many aspects of aerial yoga that appeal to me: the way it makes my back feel, the way that it calms my nervous system, the way it activates my core, the thrill of turning upside down and letting all of my tension drain out. But the aspect of aerial yoga that I delight in the most is how accessible this type of yoga is for most bodies: Older bodies, physically challenged bodies, inflexible bodies, strong bodies, bodies of all sizes and shapes, curious bodies; I could go on and on but you get the point. Since teaching my first class in September 2013, I have witnessed all kinds of bodies, do all kinds of postures, with the support of the fabric hammock: standing splits, handstands, aerial bound angle pose and of course, savasana, final relaxation posture, cocooned in the hammock.
I hope you will join me for class, and tell your friends. Discover the union of body and spirit that is so true to yoga, but with the excitement of the aerial arts and the joy of playful exploration.
Hartford Courant / November 2, 2013 — The yoga studio uses the kind of bright fabric that the acrobats in Cirque du Soleil ride up and down, but this class doesn’t require the abdominal strength or bravery of those kinds of performances.
Unnata Aerial Yoga, a class that elevates some yoga postures off the ground, is accessible to non-gymnasts, and to those who have never tried yoga before.
Jayne Dean, 51, started Hartford’s first class this month, bringing an exercise option that’s hot in New York and was popularized there seven years ago.
She told her inaugural class of five women: “With the hammock, we find our own way. It doesn’t have to be perfect or pretty.”