Had you told me that I’d be spending 45 minutes upside down last weekend I wouldn’t have believed you.
(I also would have had a lot of questions…)
But alas, that’s how I spent my Sunday.
I took the plunge and signed myself up for an aerial yoga class at Crunch.
It was just so much fun.
Throughout the whole class, everyone (the first timers to the semi-pros) was smiling.
For me, a good workout class is when I’m having so much fun thinking about what I’m doing, that I forget I’m technically working out (I’m a big crossfit fan for the same reason).
And literally just hanging around is definitely fun.
So what even is aerial yoga?
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Aerial yoga (aka antigravity yoga) is basically made of variations on yoga poses using a ‘hammock’
The ‘hammock’ is really just a life-changing bunch of fabric hanging from the ceiling in a U.
Aerial yoga apparently started in New York but is now a world-wide thing. During a class, you can expect elements of yoga (duh), pilates and even ballet.
Poses range from literally just sitting in the hammock with your feet out, to putting your ankle in it and just bending over for a stretch, to hanging from one foot upside down.
Why would I want to do that?
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Aerial yoga is super good for loosening the pressure on your spine and I can say from
soreness experience, it definitely works your muscles.
Admittedly, there’s a lack of concrete formal research on the benefits of aerial yoga because it’s too new but there’s plenty of research that supports the fabulousness of yoga and inversions (ie. being upside down).
Did I mention how fun it is?
Some of the probable benefits are:
+ more focus
(try holding a V while trying not to swing too much)
+ more balance
(again, try being on one foot while trying not to let your extended foot swing too much)
(at the end, you envelope yourself in the hammock and just become a cocoon. It definitely looks super creepy from the outside, but I’ve never had a better end-of-class relaxation).
+ more flexibility
(one of the moves is like a split, but your back foot is in the hammock. A little scary? Yes. An awesome stretch? Also yes).
+ strength building
(my abs, back, shoulders, legs and arms can definitely attest to this. That was a full body workout).
(inversions help drain your lymphatic system and get your circulatory system going in new ways)
Are you so pumped to try it yet!?
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Okay, I know it’s a weird concept.
But there are so few excused not to try it!
Aerial yoga is an especially great yoga variation for anyone who has back problems or can’t do yoga for other reasons (look at you and your wrist injuries, mom).
And if you’re scared of falling…
Firstly, each hammock can hold about 2000lbs. So in the words of my instructor, “no matter what you think if yourself, it’s not going to break.”
If you’re worried about the whole being upside down thing, I totally encourage you to try it anyway! The poses build up super slowly. I honestly barely realised I was doing my first inversion by the time my hands left the floor.
My instructor did say that because aerial yoga gets your blood and energies flowing in such a novel way, it’s totally normal to feel a little dizzy or queazy after your first class or two.
I’m definitely going to go back and try to convert my friends to aerial yogis too.
Would you try it?