One of my fitness goals for this summer was to try an aerial yoga class and yesterday I got a chance to cross that off my list.
I woke up a little, uh, worse for wear after a late night on Saturday so I was looking for something a bit more laid back than my usual Sunday morning workout (not to mention something that started later in the day). The Clarity Centre offers an aerial class at noon so I figured that would be the perfect workout option.
In retrospect, perhaps taking a class that has you suspended in the air upside down isn’t the best option for someone with a mild hangover but luckily my head and stomach didn’t seem to mind. Actually, I had a really fun time.
So what is aerial yoga? Basically, you do a series of yoga poses while suspended several inches off the ground using a long silk hammock. By counteracting gravity, aerial yoga:
- helps you maintain proper posture
- increases flexibility by relieving muscle and bone tension
- prevents back strain
It’s also the funnest workout I’ve done in a long time. Everyone was giggling and having a good time; even the instructor couldn’t help laughing
at with us as we struggled to get into certain postures.
That being said, it’s not as challenging as it looks. When you see pictures of people all rigged up and contorted in their hammocks, hanging upside down, you might be intimidated about trying it but it really isn’t that difficult once you get the hang of it (no pun intended).
I was definitely nervous about flippin myself upside down the first time, but once you do it and you realize the hammock is not going to come crashing down from the ceiling (they hold up to 2,000 pounds apparently), it becomes tons of fun.
For newcomers, the teacher will lead you through all of the poses and also help you get into a pose if you need it (for example, I tried to get into one pose and ended up swinging around wildly, almost crashing into my neighbour; the teacher was kind enough to come around and steady me).
Some of my favourite aerial poses so far:
Pigeon – this allowed me to get much deeper into my hips than regular yoga:
Hand stand (because I can’t do this one in regular yoga!):
Dancer’s pose – again, this allowed me to get much deeper into the pose than I’m normally able to go:
Shavasana - I have to admit, anti-gravity corpse pose was probably my favourite!
The only thing I’d warn you about is that the hammock hurts in certain poses (i.e. any pose where your weight is resting on your underarms/lats). Luckily, we didn’t spend a lot of time in any of these poses so it wasn’t too bad, plus the regulars say you get used to it after a few classes anyway.
Oh, and apparently it can cause mild seasickness, although I didn’t feel any (and I of all people probably should have).
If you get a chance to try aerial yoga, I’d highly recommend it.
What’s the coolest workout you’ve ever done?