Born in Garden Grove California, minutes away from Disneyland, Alyson was born with a magical and imaginative perspective. Although, she mostly grew up in
Pocatello, ID she went back to work at Disneyland after she graduated from high school. Her daughter worked for Disney for 8 years and her family still loves to vacation there any chance they get. It always feels like going home.
Her business, Elevation Floating Fitness, located in Idaho Falls, Idaho is an AntiGravity Aerial Yoga and Fitness studio. She teaches daily workout, stretching or meditation classes in silk hammocks. She also utilizes the positive benefits of hammocks in her first profession, Speech Therapy. The hammocks allow children to regulate their vestibular system during speech therapy which results in improved fluency, auditory comprehension and memory.
What inspired you to start your own business?
I fell in love with AntiGravity fitness after my first class. I grew up participating in gymnastics and AntiGravity fitness was a safe way to continue to flip and fly. I had been working as a speech therapist for 17 years prior to opening Elevation Floating Fitness. I was motivated to open my business because I wanted to share the joy that aerial yoga had brought to my life with others. Now I help people have fun while they exercise, help to treat and minimize chronic pain, improve mood, anxiety and depression and witness people gaining strength and confidence. I also treat people with a variety of speech disorders using the hammocks.
What’s your favorite quote?
“What if I fall? Oh but darling what if you fly?”
It’s my favorite quote because we have a choice to focus and pour energy into all that might go wrong and conversely we have the choice to focus our energy on all that could go right. Life is full of opportunities that one may overlook if they choose to focus on what could potentially go wrong. I choose to focus on success and putting positive energy into the world.
What lessons did you learn from your parents?
My parents put me in a lot of sports as a child. In the 70s I was the only girl playing on the boys t-ball team. I played basketball, tennis, soccer and did gymnastics as well. Having parents that encouraged me to participate in athletics taught me so many lessons. I grew up knowing I could compete and play along side the boys and be successful. I learned the importance of teamwork and competition. I learned that it felt great to win and I also learned that some of the greatest lessons come from losing.
If you were a superhero, what would your outfit look like?
It would definitely be aqua blue. It would have to have millions of sparkles and glitter. Tall boots- but they must be comfortable. At my age comfort is key. My cape would have to be short, otherwise I could see myself falling down a lot.
What’s your favorite achievement in life?
Being a mom. Having and raising children who put good energy into the world is the best thing I have ever done.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I truly believe there is always something to be grateful for. I love the quote “every day may not be good but there is something good in every day”. I try to live by those words. I end each day focusing on all that I am grateful for.
When you close your eyes and imagine an empowered woman, what do you see?
I see someone who can be strong and powerful but also sensitive and vulnerable. I think
there is such a stigma about “strong” women. That to be a strong woman in a position of
power you must be hard nosed, all business and serious at all times. I think empowered
women can look a variety of ways. They can be smart, strong, sensitive, compassionate,
vulnerable, emotional, hard nosed or silly.
Above all, empowered women look comfortable in their own skin. Empowered women live their truths. That can and should look different for everyone.
What are the most important things women can do for their health and nutrition?
Find an exercise that you love. Working out shouldn’t be a punishment. It should be a time for you to connect with yourself and to be good to your body. You should leave feeling inspired and accomplished.
Always continue to learn. Learn about nutrition. Learn about exercise.
How do you take care of yourself to maintain balance in your life?
Aerial Yoga allows me time for daily meditation, stretching, exercising and taking time for myself. Taking care of mental health is equally as important as physical health. I try to end each day focusing on gratitude.
So much of your work is centered around self-confidence, strength, and courage to try new things. How do you empower your clients to do this in the studio and in their daily life?
I see such a parallel between aerial yoga and daily life. Aerial yoga requires trust, self confidence, courage, vulnerability and sometimes working through some discomfort for the good of your body. It empowers me as an instructor to watch clients come in sometimes feeling nervous or in pain. I get to watch them walk out feeling strong, powerful, successful and having relief from chronic pain. We have such a community of loving and encouraging clients in our studio. When a new person comes in the studio they are greeted and made to feel welcome and safe by me and also by other students.
Each person that comes through the door has a different reason for coming. I try to gently guide them to do their best on that day. No better, no less. Having the courage to be vulnerable and to show up to a class is an accomplishment and I make sure new students understand that.
What advice do you have for people on their path of empowerment?
The advice that I would give to myself 5 years ago or to anyone else may sound cliché but it’s powerful and true. Follow your heart. Be still. Listen to what inspires you. You don’t have to know the end result to start your journey. The “right moment” will never reveal itself. Stop waiting for the right moment. If you know what sets your soul on fire then you owe it to yourself and to others to share your passion now.
In five years I would give myself this same advice. Keep listening. Keep assessing.
Keep allowing yourself and whatever you are passionate about to evolve without judgment.
How do the students you teach inspire you?
They inspire me with their ability to be brave, kind and positive. They are welcoming and inviting to new students. They trust themselves and they trust me as an instructor. They are constantly accomplishing new and more difficult moves. I feel like we bring out the best in each other. I am beyond grateful for the time I spend in my studio with my AntiGravity students.