AeroZen Yoga: a new way of training your mind and body


Paulette Villa

Instructor and owner of AeroZen Yoga Nahsyelli Elena Hernandez demonstrates the advanced techniques used during AeroYoga class at the studio located in 10110 Montwood Drive

Paulette Villa , Intern

Achieving the benefits of being physically strong, but still having a calm mind and energy can all be accomplished by any hour-long session at AeroZen Yoga, according to the owner Nashyelli Elena Hernandez.

“Inspiration, perspiration and relaxation, it’s our model for every class,” said Hernandez, who is also one of the seven instructors at the studio.

AeroYoga consists of using fabric hanging from the ceiling—attached to three structures connected to the ground that holds up to 300 pounds, which helps the user perform easier yoga inversions, compared to doing them on the floor.

“The ropes only go a foot above ground, it’s not Cirque du Solei, but it’s inspired by the practice of aerial dance and acrobatic poses in the practice of yoga,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez has dedicated her entire life to fitness, such as running, kick-boxing and being a spinning instructor. She graduated from UTEP in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

“I always saw myself as an employer and not so much as an employee,” Hernandez said.

In 2011, Hernandez returned to UTEP to pursue a career in clinical psychology because of her fascination with the human mind and her motivation to help people in the community. She later realized it was not the path for her to achieve those goals.

Paulette Villa
Instructor and owner of AeroZen Yoga Nahsyelli Elena Hernandez demonstrates the advanced techniques used during AeroYoga class at the studio located in 10110 Montwood Drive

“I basically started connecting the dots–how I was into fitness and the human mind,” Hernandez said. “Yoga is basically the perfect blend and how it approaches psychology in a very natural way.”

She taught regular yoga, but decided to seek a non-traditional approach and found AeroYoga online. She then traveled to Mexico City and Spain to get certified in the technique, which was also her first time trying AeroYoga.

“People were surprised by saying, ‘you’ve never tried this and yet you’re getting certified?’” Hernandez said. “That’s how sure I was, I loved it so much that I opened a studio dedicated to do that practice.”

In 2015, Hernandez taught AeroYoga from the comfort of her home, but her goal was always a contemporary yoga business. AeroZen Yoga opened on January 18, 2017, and is located at 10110 Montwood Drive.

“I will always remember that date, and I love the fact I took that risk because I have grown so much personally,” Hernandez said. “I remember I was so nervous and shaking and I thought I was going to die when after I signed the lease. I was like, what did I just do?”

Besides experiencing stress during her college days, Hernandez also experienced stress while opening the business, before the new instructors came on board.

“We have to deal with it and we have to know how to properly manage that stress so that it doesn’t consume us and know how to move forward and through it,” Hernandez said. “That’s the reason why depression and drugs are such a big problem nowadays, because we want to avoid it instead of moving through the challenge and then finding ourselves at the other end.”

They are the only AeroYoga studio in the Southwest, and also offer nine unique varieties of exercises to accommodate anyone’s workout preferences and particular benefits.

For students who are struggling with anxiety of the semester and don’t have time to relax due to their busy schedules, Hernandez suggests Kundalini Yoga for them.

Instructor Paramdayal Kaur teaches breathing techniques, meditation and mantra chanting.

“We have a new student promo with one week of unlimited sessions for $25, so that they can experience and try all the different techniques that we have,” Hernandez said. “After that, they can decide if they want to buy packs, if they want to continue their practice or become unlimited members.”

AeroZen Yoga also offers a variety of exercises with combinations of the fabric used in AeroYoga, Pilates and barre.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, instructors Carla Briones and Pricila Robles teach a barre tone and flex class. Barre is a modified version of the warm up exercises ballerinas do by using a handle attached to the wall. The benefits are to sculpt, tone and define the body, according to Hernandez.

“Barre is more repetition, more like pointing to toe and a little more elegance to the workout,” Hernandez said.

With Pilates, there are two kinds available: Yogalates Mix and Power AeroPilates. Power AeroPilates, taught by Robles, focuses on using the fabric as a hammock to control movement and strengthen muscles without bulking.

Paulette Villa
Instructor and owner of AeroZen Yoga Nahsyelli Elena Hernandez demonstrates the advanced techniques used during AeroYoga class at the studio located in 10110 Montwood Drive

“We target our core, also known as the powerhouse in Pilates, which is the abdominal area and the lower back,” Hernandez said.

Yogalates, taught by instructor Elisa Rivera on Mondays and Wednesdays, focuses on posture enhancement and uses regular mat yoga.

For those with back pain and with trouble sleeping, it is recommended they attend a AeroYoga Restorative class, which comes with a recommendation to be cautious in driving back home after the session due to the high amounts of relaxation.

“I had a student who was taking painkillers because she had big problems with her back,” Hernandez said. “After attending our sessions regularly, she came to me and said she was not taking them anymore, and to me that was amazing.”

To see the many options and full schedule or to book a class, get the “Mindbody: Fitness, Salon & Spa” app and search for AeroZen Yoga.

“I love when they can come in the studio thinking they can’t do it, then they leave the studio knowing that they did,” Hernandez said.

Essentials oils and stone therapy are also included in order for customers to prepare themselves when approaching the workout. At the conclusion of each workout, students enter into shavasana pose—also known as the corpse pose—where one lays on the ground for deep relaxation.

“I tell my students, I don’t sit people on the couch, but I sit them on a mat,” Hernandez said. “They just come here to relax, to listen, to go within, to find silence, and to make things just become clearer after a yoga class.”

The studio is open all week except Sundays from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.

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