Self Care, Community, and Courage

Meet Mariah!

Mariah 1

Mariah is a newlywed (CONGRATS) and will graduate from VSU with a bachelor's in Sociology this May (double CONGRATS). She has two jobs, the VSU library and Langdale Place. Having two jobs while balancing school, being a newlywed and also being involved in her church, Crosspointe, makes her schedule pretty hectic. While she can’t attend classes on a regular basis, Mariah loves that Hang Out Yoga provides so many options for different times and different styles of yoga.

Mariah was drawn to aerial yoga simply because of how unique it is!! She had seen videos on Facebook/social media of similar studios that offered aerial, but they were always in large cities far away so when she heard about it being in Valdosta, she was ecstatic!!

She says the price almost prevented her from trying the class. “It seemed a little steep to me at first but when I tried my first class I saw why. The silks are such good quality and the instructors are truly so talented. They take their time helping you even if you're afraid to try a challenging pose,” she said. Being savvy, Mariah also takes advantage of the class bundles, BOGO sales, and special discounts from social posts, which save money in the long run!

She says the greatest benefit she’s received from attending classes are the after effects. “Aerial yoga makes me feel so accomplished after sitting at work all day! It takes all your strength to get into some of these poses so when you leave you know you have accomplished something great! I go home feeling like I can breathe deeper and always sleep sounder,” said Mariah.

“I have some prior yoga experience but only ground yoga. Aerial yoga took me to another level! Pun intended! :D”

She recommends classes to others. “If ariel isn't right for one person there are other options like the Happy Hips class or Vinyasa,” she said.

When asked what her favorite pose is, she said that’s difficult. “If I had to choose, I think my favorite pose would be the inverted butterfly. While it is a simple pose, I enjoy how much it stretches my back; it feels great!” she said.

After trying her first class she was surprised at how adaptable aerial yoga can be. She shared, “I have seen people of all ages attend the class. The teachers always offer substitution/adaptation poses for people who may not be able to go full out in advanced poses and this ensures that everyone in the class will be involved!”

“I leave class feeling worn out but refreshed! Aerial yoga truly tests my strength and I always go home feeling stronger than when I came in.”

Mariah says it’s awesome to be involved with such a like-minded and encouraging group. She exclaimed, “Every class I have attended has such encouraging members. When trying the scorpion pose for the first time I was so nervous about getting hurt. Sherri H. and the other class members encouraged me and helped me get into the pose with ease! This pose that I thought I wasn't strong enough to do turned out to be not as hard as I thought!”

Studio owner Erika Bennett said, “Mariah is amazing!” She’s so young, yet understands the importance of carving out time for herself, even when her plate is so full. Erika says it’s important to try new things, because it empowers you by reminding you that you are capable of more than you think.She continued, “So often we make excuses because we are scared. Our job at the studio is to help our students channel their inner warriors and overcome their self doubts.”

Erika Bennett