10 Certified Yoga Trapeze Instructors Share Their Stories

by Kaleena Stroud

“I’ve developed more discipline that I can also apply outside of the mat now that I’m a mother of three.”

Alice Hagenbach (Strasburg, France)

I think the biggest improvement I’ve seen in myself has been self-discipline. I grew up in a home where I had a lot of freedom, probably too much. I’ve always had trouble sticking to a plan, even a plan that I had made for myself, be it day-to-day or for the long term. Through the practice of yoga and the fact that you have to work for everything that you obtain, I’ve developed more discipline that I can also apply outside of the mat now that I’m a mother of three.

Ever since the Yoga Trapeze Teacher Training, I have started practicing when my family is around. I’ve never done that before. I’ve always wanted to keep it separate. Now I really want them to see what I’m doing. My children are ages six and five, and a one-year-old. As you can imagine, they already want to play on the Yoga Trapeze.

My family is out all day and since I work from home, I can always carve time out to teach during the day. I always have at least half an hour between classes to do my own practice.

In fact, I just finished teaching a trapeze class with a woman who had a discovery class last week and signed up for two classes a week for the next three months. I achieved that by sticking to the YOGABODY script, no improv. I think the trapeze training was a wave of motivation for me, full of really key elements that helped me get started. I followed the instructions, I posted the ads that Lucas had shared, and that’s how I got the first email!

“You do not have to be the fittest person on earth to do yoga. I wasn’t. And I’m still not but it’s not going to stop me.”

Chryistal Haley (Yakima, Washington)

Recently I went to a yoga class with no expectations. We came across a pose a bit complicated with more instruction than most, then the instructor says: ‘I know it’s a lot but don’t overthink this, just do it.’ In that moment, I suddenly understood fully what overthinking meant.

And I nailed the pose my first try. Body over mind. I truly believe in that. Because there are more instructions to a pose on the trapeze than a pose on the mat, overthinking can and will happen.

People also overthink whether or not they are good enough, which brings me to the misconception of ‘yoga is for fit people.’

You do not have to be the fittest person on earth to do yoga. I wasn’t. And I’m still not but it’s not going to stop me. Often times people tell me, ‘there’s no way I can do that,’ then they do it and get completely surprised. The reactions on their faces are priceless. I tell them, ‘see you can do it with the strength you already had in your body and mind.’ Strength is there. We all have it.

Yoga to me is a free feeling. A chance to get in touch with your body. Really feel what it can do. Your mind is a really powerful tool, so powerful that it can make or break you.

“Yoga has jolted the most important aspects of my life … health, marriage, work… to help me evolve.”

Diana Osorio (Mexico)

After 14 years of working for a company, there was restructuring and I was fired. When that happened I had been practicing yoga for a year. At work, I felt unmotivated, afraid to leave my comfort zone, and worse, as a “headless chicken,” trying to make sense of what I was doing. But everything has a beginning and an end and it happened just at the moment when I needed it.

In fact, 3 months before the dismissal I was doing a children’s yoga instructor course. I already felt a restlessness to follow this path and do something that would really make me feel complete and happy. But then I tried the Yoga Trapeze course at YOGABODY, and I was totally convinced that I wanted to take this path and teach yoga.

Today, I accept and appreciate everything that has happened because today, I see everything in a totally different way. Life is so beautiful and so simple. I have forgiven myself. I love myself. I practice self-care.

Yoga has made me grow spiritually in a magical way. It entered like a whirlpool to heal me and make me happier with each practice and, apart from the work it does on the inside, what your body gains in flexibility and muscle strengthening is wonderful. I feel so proud to be able to perform asanas that were previously unthinkable. In each practice you recognize and accept how far your body can go; you work a lot on patience and your ego. It is important to respect your body.

Yoga has jolted the most important aspects of my life… health, marriage, work… to help me evolve.

“I have noticed that I’ve lost some of my strength and flexibility since we have been on the road, but, the great thing is, yoga isn’t about that.”

Hillary Marshall (Charlotte, North Carolina)

The hard part was letting go of possessions, expectations, and fears around what we thought our life was going to be like. My husband, Andrew, and I had spent years setting up a great life; we enjoyed the lifestyle and ability to travel that our jobs afforded us, but we weren’t enjoying our work life. I do not look back on this period with regret; it helped us grow and understand ourselves better, and it led us to the decision of buying a van and taking this amazing journey. We love the new adventures and experiences that every day brings.

We plan to travel for the next 1-2 years in our self-converted RAM ProMaster campervan. We spent about 10 months converting the cargo van into a campervan and reducing our possessions. We travel with our 6-year-old dog, Dexter, who is always up for adventures.

Andrew installed the Yoga Trapeze in our sliding doorway. He made it work using an existing hole in the van on one side and a threaded insert in the van body on the other side; it’s very sturdy. It isn’t the perfect setup, but it works. We also use it as a chair! It’s very comfortable to lounge in.

I have noticed that I’ve lost some of my strength and flexibility since we have been on the road, but, the great thing is, yoga isn’t about that. Yoga, to me, is more about finding that time to get out of my head and breathe. I’m a planner, organizer, strategist. So I’m trying to incorporate yoga into smaller sections of my day. Instead of an hour-long yoga session, I’m stopping in the middle of a hike for a 10-15 minute session. Or using the Yoga Trapeze, weather permitting.

The road, however, is a busy place, just like “normal” life. You need to clean, cook meals, organize your belongings, plan the next day, drive, walk the dog, hike, mountain bike, read the map, etc. You have to prioritize the things you really want to do, otherwise, you won’t find time for them. This is true for everyone, where ever they are in life!

“I wanted a way to help others explore the wealth and joy of motion, strength, and fluidity in the body.”

Neroli Robertson (Hawaii)

I think people are often surprised that I’m only 19 years old.

I’ve been sharing yoga with my mother since I was in the womb, doing a daily Ashtanga practice. Growing up, I was often watching her yoga classes and once I was old enough we would practice together.

I’ve considered a variety of career paths from fashion to photography yet a constant and continual passion for movement has kept my focus on yoga, fitness, and dance, so Yoga Trapeze is the dream! This movement and equipment incorporate so much of what I love doing.

I wanted a way to help others explore the wealth and joy of motion, strength, and fluidity in the body, especially since many people have restricted joint mobility, unstable core muscles and suffer from back pain. I thought this work could open some options for sharing my passions and may bring some income while traveling.

My family and friends have been very supportive and encouraging with all my travels and moving to different countries. I have been told my whole life the importance of travel and movement. I have felt confident and excited to be able to start deepening my practice at my age and feel fortunate that I have been able to live in Spain.

“During immersion one, I was a scared little mouse. During immersion two, I came in full force.”

Selda Tahiri (North Carolina)

I’ve done four immersion trainings with YOGABODY. I keep finding reasons to go back to Barcelona!

I had great instructors since day one, but I saw the most personal growth in my second immersion course. During immersion one, I was a scared little mouse. During immersion two, I came in full force and didn’t set myself up for any certain expectations, and so I had more fun with it. I reminded myself that I was continuing my education and to remain open-minded, and I rocked it.

I’ve had the trapeze for a while, but I would just look at it. I didn’t know what to do with it. During this Yoga Trapeze training, we are trained step by step, so it’s no longer intimidating. After learning how to do a difficult sequence, such as Spiderman to Superman, I realized I can do anything I set my mind to.

My husband is a pro golfer. We met in Turkey and used to live in Turkey. And now we’ve been living in Vienna for 5 years. We live on a beautiful golf course. There are 1,600 members and I have been looking for a place to drill holes to offer trapeze classes. I’m super excited. A lot of the members are older with spinal, strength, and flexibility problems. In golfing, they need to do a lot of rotation. So many golfers end up having left arm or right arm imbalances. I want to offer my classes as a sort of therapy for them.

In fact, my husband has done my Vinyasa classes and he was going to try the trapeze today. It was supposed to be 20℃ but that was a lie. He’ll give it a try when the weather improves.

“I feel like any good business model is better when you have the support of others.”

Stacia Paul (Stockbridge, Georgia)

One of my Yoga Trapeze students, Sylvia, fell in love with it so much she recently got certified, so now we have partnered up. She only came to a few classes before she decided that she found a calling. She was at a crossroad in her life on wanting change. When she showed interest in getting certified I immediately sent her all the information she needed.

We are discussing doing events together over the summer and offering semi-private sessions on the beach with our Yoga Trapeze Stands. I feel like any good business model is better when you have the support of others. Sylvia has become a good friend and I look forward to helping people together!

My proudest moment in recent years is receiving my Yoga Trapeze certification, and I’m currently working on my 200hr certification with YOGABODY. Once it’s completed, I want to look into travel work opportunities and start my mobile yoga business, participate in retreats, and help people on a local and international level.

I’m already going outside of my city (Atlantic City) to teach in Philadelphia and south New Jersey. My goal in the next year is to expand and teach more consistently within my region.

I’m already comfortable with owning a business because of my production company. In that business, I depend heavily on others to make money. It makes perfect sense for me, in the place I am at in life, to go into a business where I make money off of my own skills.

“When I did that first [yoga] class, a new world opened up.”

Yvonne Prat (Barcelona, Spain)

I felt like an alien in my first yoga class. Everyone sang mantras in Sanskrit and I tripped out. The truth is that my first 10 classes were not memorable. They did not fit me. I did not feel integrated into the group. So I decided not to continue although it was clear to me that I wanted to do yoga, I just had to find a teacher more my style.

It took me about a year and a half, but when I did that first class, a new world opened up! And in the second class, I decided that I wanted to train in yoga because I loved how it made me feel and I wanted more; to know more! It hasn’t been long since then, but I have been constant with patience and hard work. I am still training to continue growing as a person and as a yoga professional.

I’ve started sharing yoga with my family and friends and now I’ll begin giving small group classes and private lessons, I hope! I am very much so in the beginning stages, so I don’t have anything set in stone, but I am creating my personal brand to make myself known and contacting people to offer my yoga classes. We’ll see how it goes!

“For years, I searched for something that would help with the pain.”

Lynda Thoresen (Canada)

In 2012 I developed a significant back injury/disfunction. I couldn’t stand or sit for longer than 10 minutes at a time and spent most of my time in bed. My doctor sent me for multiple MRIs, X-rays, bone scans and neurological testing and no answers could be found. I was sent to a pain management specialist, put on opioids and diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

For years, I searched for something that would help with the pain. Trying many different types of exercise and therapy options, I was continually left with little to no results. Feeling frustrated and disappointed, I started to really believe that this might be what life looked like for me and that it would only get worse as time passed.

Before my accident, exercise was how I dealt with stress and anxiety and I started to get depressed and lost interest in things that used to bring me joy. I was starting to feel hopeless and useless. One day I saw the Yoga Trapeze online and decided that I wanted to try it.

I didn’t really think that it would be the “fitness miracle” that I had been searching for but it looked interesting and I am a sucker for gadgets and new things. When it arrived I started playing around on it, not really following a routine, just trying to have fun and I knew that inversions would relieve some of my back pain.

Very shortly after using it I started to feel a slight change, but that was enough for me to pursue gaining more knowledge about my new toy. Within a few weeks of consistent use I started to feel a difference in my sleep and a decrease in the pain I had been feeling for so long. I was hooked!

The Yoga Trapeze was a gateway for me to learn more about traditional yoga and I now practice and teach both. I feel strong and healthy again.

“I have students tell me that they love coming to my classes. That’s what makes me feel really good.”

Sara Galliway (Prosser, Washington)

It wasn’t really difficult to implement what I learned from the course just because YOGABODY makes it so accessible. My new studio is storefront which is cool. I teach three classes: Vinyasa, Trapeze, and Restorative.

Yoga Trapeze is an inversion tool that allows you to have different avenues that mat-based yoga really doesn’t provide. I feel really good about my accomplishments.

I have students tell me that they love coming to my classes, they don’t have as much back pain, they feel good about their body. That’s what makes me feel really good.

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