Welcome to the fifth and final part of ‘Meet our instructors’ where you can get to know the people who dedicate their time and love to helping you achieve your aerial goals. This month, I spoke with Gaby who is our aerial yoga guru to find out a little more about her. It’s safe to say… she’s one talented human being!

How long have you been teaching?
“I’ve been teaching aerial for about 18 months now but teaching in total (dance/yoga/fitness) for around 9 years.”

What was your first discipline?
“I went to dance school like most and did all the usual styles but would say my first love was street dance.”

Why do you enjoy teaching?
“I really enjoy giving people space and time to just work with however they’re feeling that day, and love watching people’s confidence and skill grow, it’s very fulfilling.”

What other skills do you have?
“I am also a DJ! This feeds into my classes as I love making playlists.”

Do you have a party trick?
“I used to be a fire-breather and stilt walker before my teaching life!”

What advice would you give to someone starting out for the first time in aerial?
“Approach it with an open mind and don’t compare yourself to others. Ever. Don’t even compare yourself to how you feel on another day as each day is different. And trust the sling, it can support you very well I promise!”

What challenges have you recently overcome? – Do you have any advice for people who are dealing with the same thing?
“This leads on from the last one. In the past, I have compared myself to others in terms of ability and appearance, and now whenever I feel myself beginning to do so I just remind myself we all have something both special and different to offer, and that everyone has these same thoughts to work with; we’re all in it together!”

What’s your favourite thing about LAA?
“I love how the studio is super friendly and a real community has been built. I also love the set up of the slings facing one another I think it’s very encouraging.”

Tell me a fun fact about yourself.
“In my spare time, I’m learning Spanish!”

How has aerial impacted your life?
“Before aerial, I wasn’t confident with hanging upside down (who is?!) and so it’s pushed me out of my comfort zone, and helped me before more creative with class planning as now I can flow in any direction! I also used to get back pain and never seem to these days so that has to be something too!”

What’s the most common struggle you see amongst your students and how do you help them overcome it?
“Sometimes people can feel a little dizzy at first when they start. I reassure them this is your body getting used to something new and to come up and rest as often as you need. There is no rush and over time you’ll forget you ever felt this way!”

How did you get into aerial?
“I tried some aerial in the past when I was a dancer and performer and loved the skill of it. When I got into yoga for mental health reasons and heard that aerial yoga was a thing I thought we have to get this going on in Leeds!”

Who is your hero/idol and why?
“There is a yoga teacher and gymnast named Shona Vertue (check her out on Instagram). She is so informative but says things in a really digestible and funny way. I love Deliciously Ella and her podcast on wellness.”

Why should people try aerial?
“If you like any time of movement, if you want to feel strong, flexible, weightless, and part of a community. If you have any back pain this is sure to ease it and if you want to take some time for yourself (which you deserve it’s your human right) then come check us out.”

If you fancy hanging upside down with Gaby and getting your yoga on, then you can book your class here.