5 minute read

Aerial Yoga - March 2022


Aerial yoga helps people of all ages strengthen and trust in their bodies

Story by Bianca Rawlings | Photos by Felicia Frazar

Nestled in charming Old Town Cibolo, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made offers an awe-inspiring total wellness experience that is sure to make anyone’s body and heart soar to new heights. Bring your wonderful self just as you are to the whimsical studio where inclusion and belonging along with “trust and love” are at the heart of what owner, Tiesha Bell Hartman aims to bring to each of her clients’ lives. She extends a warm welcome to guests of all ages and walks of life by creating a safe space in which the mind, body, and spirit can open and strengthened simultaneously.

Tiesha has known that empowering and helping others, especially children, was her calling since she was 10. She grew her business from the ground up, letting God lead her entrepreneurial endeavors, with the dream of enriching lives with her unique gifts. Her vision and determination are common denominators throughout her life. Tiesha was a single mother working her way through college to earn her Kinesiology and teaching degrees. Years later, she worked as a local physical education coach who developed her own Motor Learning Lab. Tiesha consistently digs deep to serve others and has the ability to clearly see the bigger picture.

In her second year coaching at Cornerstone Christian schools, she said God told her “this is your last year here.” Though “it didn’t make any sense”at the time, since she was having her most successful professional year since starting her physical brain training program. However, she knew it was her purpose to do more for her community. Tiesha husband supports her and pushes her to reach her full potential. After seeing her first motor lab, he told her “this is for a lot of kids. A lot of kids need what you’re doing,” she recalled. After leaving her coaching position, she took the Motor Learning Lab mobile for a time and continued to engage and expand minds through activity. When she learned about aerial yoga from a friend, she realized it went perfectly with the goals of her Physical Brain Training program and Fearfully and Wonderfully Made was born.

Tiesha’s 600-square-foot studio is a testament to her vision and faith. Tiesha could see the strong bones in the small, three-sided carport, which is original to the 1900’s-era house. She took on the transforming the structure with an open mind and heart, gaining gorgeous rescued pieces of tin roof and other finishing touches along the way. Tiesha says the studio fell into place more perfectly than she could have imagined and she commonly refers to it as “God’s Studio.” She shares

her strong faith in each of her classes, “starting each class with a prayer,” aiming to give her clients spiritual nourishment and providing them with the tools to believe in themselves and to fully trust the silks and reinforced power beams.

During our interview, Tiesha gave me a quick lesson in the basics of aerial yoga. She made swinging, smiling, and chatting through the motions smooth and simple. Tiesha’s encouragement and excitement made it the most excellent fitness experience I have ever had. It was like yoga, meditation, and strength training all rolled into one fun package but better because of the aerial aspect and empowering atmosphere. Her clients rave about the experience as well, ranging from children as young as 3 who don’t want to stop swinging and playing in the silks to recovering marathon runners who swear by the pain relief, sense of community, and sleep benefits.

Aerial yoga relieves stress in more ways than one such as increasing circulation throughout the body, decompressing the spine, and causing you to focus on your every movement, Tiesha said. Regular yoga “limits your movement due to the floor” and aerial yoga allows you to move freely due to the “increased range of motion,” she said. I was invited to trust the equipment and myself through the positions, which often felt like a gentle massage or getting a natural spinal alignment. After just a few minutes, I was able to defy gravity and even learned to let go once I found my center of balance.

That sense of serene accomplishment and weightlessness stayed with me throughout the day. Whichever class you choose whether with Tiesha or one of her teachers who she lovingly calls “partner instructors,” you are certain to glide out of Fearfully and Wonderfully Made calmer and more grounded than when you walked in. Tiesha says she often hosts private parties and prefers the intimate studio setting so she can focus on safety and building relationships with her clients and community.

Yoga, meditation, and strength training all rolled into one fun package but better because of the aerial aspect and empowering atmosphere.