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This Yogini Pushes for Mental Health Awareness

Aerial Lynn Says, “It’s Okay to Struggle”

Written By: Melissa Mitchell
Photographed By: Travis McCoy Aerial Lynn Yoga

Name: Aerial Lynn | @aerialtheyogi
Credentials: Registered Yoga Teacher. Meditation Guide. Social Media Influencer.

When Aerial moved to Los Angeles to pursue graduate school and created her Instagram account in an effort to meet locals, she had no idea how influential she’d become. As a registered yoga teacher and meditation guide with a background in clinical psychology, Aerial has combined her spiritual passions and expertise in an effort to best serve those with mental health needs. Her online following continues to rapidly increase and her fans have grown to love and take comfort in her exquisite photographs, comforting words, and spiritual web presence. We can’t wait to see what the future has in store for Aerial, but right now we’ll revel in this glorious present that she’s created for us. Namaste.

Question: What led you down the yoga path? How did you get into it?

Aerial Lynn: Actually, for most of my life, I was a runner. I attended a few yoga classes in college, once a month or so, just to help destress during finals, etc. I heard about the benefits of yoga and figured I might as well try it… but I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t touch my toes, I couldn’t stretch—being a runner and flexible doesn’t go hand-in-hand! At the time I was working as a mental health worker at a children’s hospital in a psychiatric unit and had an encounter with a child who was having a difficult time. I ended up teaching her some yoga and breathing techniques and about 30 minutes later she was like a different person. I realized how impactful yoga could be in the mental health world, which is really my practice. Everything sprung from there! I immediately began taking the steps to become a yoga instructor and 2.5 years later, here I am!

Q: How did you learn about the practice of yoga? Discuss your expertise.

AL: I practice vinyasa flow yoga and also practice and teach meditation. I’m presently in graduate school studying clinical psychology which is where I began learning about mindfulness and meditation. I loved the practice so much I dove into some independent research on the subject and began practicing meditation on my own. Now, I love guiding meditations and incorporating them into my yoga teachings.

Q: Can you describe vinyasa flow yoga for our readers?

AL: The most important aspect of vinyasa flow yoga is breathing. It is focusing on moving with your breath. You’re either taking an inhale or an exhale, and the goal is to slow your breath. Often times, we breathe so fast and don’t pay attention to our breathing. Vinyasa flow gives us the opportunity to take control of our breath and practice mindful breathing.

Q: How do you incorporate meditation into your teaching?

AL: All of what I say during my meditations comes straight from the heart. I always try to make sure that my yoga teachings are a physical meditation. Yes, I’m teaching yoga, but I’m also saying what I would say during a guided meditation, because I like making my teaching spiritual.

Q: How does yoga fit into your daily life?

AL: I would say my yoga practice is about 3-4 times a week. I work in other fitness classes in-between and have some days where I just rest and don’t do any physical activity. Personally, I find that I perform better when I take days of rest. Then, when I come back to my practice, I feel so much better. Other than yoga, I like to incorporate pilates and am trying to integrate cardio into my schedule once a week.

Q: As an expert yogini, share some of the benefits of yoga for our readers.

AL: For me personally, the obvious physical benefits are increased flexibility and strength. Mentally, I’ve found yoga to be a practice for your life. It’s a spiritual practice and it encourages me to always aim to be the best version of myself, both physically and mentally. It’s also de-stressing and there are so many benefits to the breathing. Yoga really helps you achieve the highest quality of breath in your everyday life.

Q: Your quotes and words are so inspirational. How has your experience been growing such a large following and sharing your journey with others?

AL: It’s been really great! Its funny because the original reason I created my Instagram was to meet people when I first moved to LA. I thought it would be a great way to form connections with other like-minded individuals. I ended up receiving a lot of positive feedback and realized that it’s a great platform for me to express who I am. I started opening up more and have found that the more I’ve opened up, others were willing to open up as well. On social media, people tend to portray life as absolutely perfect and worry-free but, for me, I like to convey that it’s okay to be struggling. Those are the things we forget to talk about and it makes me grateful to emit some sort of hope or change in someone’s life, even if it’s just one person.

Q: Favorite hobbies/pastimes when you’re not downward dogging?

AL: I like being with friends and hanging out with my dog, who is the love of my life and my soul mate…aside from my husband! But honestly, my dog, Luna, and I are attached at the hip! I adopted her about a year and a half ago when she was around six years old.

Q: What’s on the spiritual horizon for you?

AL: Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a goal-oriented person, but a lot has changed since yoga came into my life. I used to look into the future and now I feel much more present and believe that whatever is supposed to happen, will. Basically, I know the message that I want to share and convey to others, but I’m not entirely sure how that’s going to happen. I just know I want to help others and want to be a positive human being in people’s lives. However that needs to happen, I trust it will happen. Also, I’m certain that yoga will always be in my future.

Long-time Yogi? If you’re thinking Aerial’s been downward dogging for decades, you’ll be surprised to know that it was only about 2.5 years ago that she discovered her passion for yoga and began the steps toward becoming a certified yoga instructor. It’s never too late to find your life’s passion, people!

Meditation 101: Thinking of exploring meditation/mindfulness? Aerial recommends that beginners begin by setting aside a few minutes each day to find silence. If you want to delve deeper into the practice, check out some books by author Thich Nhat Hanh.

Native Knowledge: Before moving to LA, Aerial received her Registered Yoga Teacher certification at Prana Yoga Center in La Jolla, San Diego. At present, she teaches private, public, and special event classes in the LA area.

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A native East Coaster who now resides in Southern California, Melissa’s had her fair share of bicoastal living. As co-creator of the blog inPSYCHful Living (inPSYCHfulLiving.com), Melissa enjoys sharing her love of mindful beauty, style and living with those around her. Being a psychologist and international travel writer, Melissa fulfills her desire to learn about the individual by meeting new people and engaging in new experiences with others. A firm believer in the notion “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there,” Melissa has found that the most wonderful things can happen just outside of that comfort zone.


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