Open for Business: Personal trainer takes fitness to new heights with aerial silks facility –


Open for Business: Personal trainer takes fitness to new heights with aerial silks facility –

by: Shelbey Roberts Posted: Jul 7, 2021 / 10:51 PM CDT / Updated: Jul 7, 2021 / 10:51 PM CDT

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD)- Fitness is a way of life for Paula Van Kuren and she’s taking her skills to new heights. 

In June, Van Kuren opened her business “Fitness By Paula”. The certified personal trainer offers her clients a unique way to focus on their health with the help of aerial acrobatics.

“I realized that this is what people are missing,” she said. “That the weight lifting–that constant grueling routine is hard to stick with. It can feel like another chore in your life.”

Van Kuren works alongside Colt Sandberg. He’s an expert in aerial rigging and the owner of Advance Space in Peoria, which is the building Van Kuren operates in.

“I grabbed some of these yoga hammocks and was like, ‘How can I apply all my fitness knowledge to things that are fun and playful?’”

paula van kuren

But the fitness fanatic up in the air actually started off more down to earth. 

“I started as a classically trained soprano and then quickly became a stay-at-home, homeschool mom,” Van Kuren said.

But twists and turns in Van Kuren’s personal life led to some serious changes. 

Van Kuren said, “In 2016, my personal world was kind of flipped upside down through an ugly divorce and I was in a position to reinvent my life. And at that point, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I just dove into fitness as a self-therapy.”

Van Kuren continued to grow her craft as a certified personal trainer, but the coronavirus pandemic nearly halted all she had worked for.

“During that pandemic, I had a backyard rig and I had some aerial toys that I just played on,” she said.

Now, the mother of four is feeling good about her physical and mental health and she’s sharing that feeling with others.

“That is totally my motivation. I want to play,” Van Kuren laughed.

You can find Van Kuren’s training schedule by downloading the “Mindbody” app and searching for “Fitness by Paula”.