AiReal Yoga Featured at Wanderlust Festival

Carmen Curtis Photo

Wanderlust Festivals are a series of events held worldwide, focusing on yoga and spirituality, and encompassing healthy eating, music and more. One of the locations for this year’s schedule is Snowshoe Mountain Resort, where the festival arrived for a three day stay Friday.

One of the featured presenters this year is Carmen Curtis, a renowned yogi who has developed her own special program known as AiReal Yoga, and she spoke to us about the benefits of yoga, and how her system works.

“I truly believe in yoga. It took me a while to finally learn more about it, but I was a professional dancer and athlete and aerialist, and I found yoga as a way of healing my body. And it helps relieve pain, and it helped balance out my body, and that helped my posture and it made me more efficient, and I actually had a longer career because of it.

“And I think for others, just taking that time for the self – yoga is really about your own self-healing – whether you need to just calm and breathe and allow the mind to become more peaceful with breath and meditation, or if you need to stretch, and lengthen the muscles or if you need to help balance out your strength also, so your spine can be nice and straight, so you can be more efficient.

“Every person takes what they need from yoga, and whether it’s a professional athlete or a housewife, everyone can benefit. I teach yoga to a wide range – I specialize in teaching professional dancers. I recently choreographed the Beyonce world tour, and those dancers are so hard on their body, and I used yoga and AiReal yoga as a way to help relieve stress and relieve pain, and to also to stretch the muscles that they are tightening from all the work they are doing.

“I’m the founder of AiReal Yoga – it’s the only brand of yoga using a hammock accredited by the Yoga Alliance. We simply use a hammock, a silky hammock, as a prop for yoga. It makes postures either easier, or it can make them more challenging. So this prop is for, maybe for someone that’s never done yoga, or is new to it, or maybe might be injured or overweight. They can hold onto the hammock – it can support them and hold them and allow them to do postures maybe they never thought they could. For the advanced yogi, it helps re-align and refine the postures, and can also deepen, so it can make it a little bit more challenging.

The most exciting part for me, though, is it allows everyone to invert, to flip upside down without compressing their spine. It holds onto you, and allows you to flip your hourglass and get that blood circulating. Inversions are so powerful – they increase the circulation, they decrease your inflammation. They also are known to help with stress and anxiety and depression and insomnia, so it’s really incredible what the inversions can do. But most of us aren’t able to stand on our heads all day, so the hammock is this prop that allows all of us to really reap the rewards of these inversions.

“it’s also super fun – you can hang in it, and swing in it, it decompresses the spine. It has this childlike fun feeling at the same time, you don’t even realize that you’re doing fitness and getting stronger and leaner, and taking that time is so important, and at least having fun while you’re doing it is nice.”

For those who are interested but unable to attend the Festival, Ms. Curtis can be found in multiple locations online.

“I’m all over the social media. You can find me at my website – it’s I’m also on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @airealyoga, so come find us, and share in the love of AiReal Yoga”

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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