Aerial maneuvers

Brittan Scott

Photo by Mason Masis

Local massage therapist and yoga instructor Brittan Scott thinks adults need to spend more time upside down. To help make that a reality, she opened Freebird Aerial Yoga last November inside Upper Park Crossfit. Scott has been practicing yoga since she was a teenager, and said she fell in love with the aerial form after a friend opened up a studio in Paradise, Positive-I. Aerial yoga incorporates long, flexible hammocks that practitioners use to achieve poses and borrows elements from both dance and traditional yoga. Scott says many adults no longer find certain actions they performed as kids—like climbing and hanging upside down—natural. Overcoming these anxieties is usually a new student’s first hurdle when starting aerial yoga, she said, explaining that these actions are not only fun, but also great for spinal decompression. At Freebird, Scott also offers ashiatsu massage, a deep-tissue massage where the masseuse stands on top of the client—with support from beams—and uses his or her feet instead of hands to deliver the massage. Stop by 1 Commerce Court or log onto to learn more.

How’s business?

It’s been really awesome. The holidays were a little quiet, which was expected. But it was nice because it gave me time to settle and flow, kinda work out some kinks. Since January, things have been picking up.

Other than being in the air, what separates aerial yoga from traditional yoga?

We use the hammocks to assist us in poses, but it’s a little more silly and fun and playful—we do a lot of playing around, tricks and hanging upside down. So it’s definitely an exercise where you come in and you have a lot of fun and don’t realize you’re working really hard. Then you leave and you’re sore the next day.

When did you start doing ashiatsu massage?

I’ve been a massage therapist for 10-11 years. I was getting to the point where my wrist, elbows and fingers were wearing out and I thought I’d have to quit massaging. It was my sister who told me about ashiatsu … and I went and trained, about four years ago now, up in Portland.

What do you hope to offer people who come to your studio?

I want them to feel refreshed and rejuvenated. I want them to feel like they’ve been nurtured and been in a safe space. The most important thing to me when they step through this door is that they feel comfortable, get comfortable in the hammock and they leave feeling a little bit stronger, feeling a little bit more confident in themselves and I think that’s a huge part of doing this. You have to let go and trust.