Are you bored with the elliptical? Sure there are times I just want to throw on my sneakers and go for a run, or hit the yoga studio for some straightforward flow, but sometimes the thrill-seeker in me craves something different. Fusion is a huge buzzword in fitness right now, and there’s something to tickle everyone’s fancy. From Pound (cardio with drumsticks), to Piloxing (blending Pilates, boxing, and dance), to SURFSET (sculpting while simulating surfing), even Animal Flow (think: If Parkour, break-dancing, and gymnastics, mated with primal animal movements). When it comes to workouts, I’ll pretty much try anything, therefore when I saw Pink’s performance at this year’s Grammy awards, I knew I’d found my next athletic adventure…Aerial Yoga.
Don’t let the name intimidate you, you don’t have to be a Cirque du Soleil performer to give this workout a whirl. Also often called suspension or anti-gravity yoga, this class takes yoga poses to new heights, as you wrap your body in a silk hammock that hangs from the ceiling. While I consider myself to be relatively strong and agile, I was amazed at how challenging even the foundations-level Aerial Yoga class was. It requires both upper-body and core strength, flexibility, and guts! At one point, the teacher asked us to do a backflip to come out of the swing we created with the fabric, and I’m sure I looked at her like she had 3-heads; but, with a little coaxing I tried it, and it was so liberating, and FUN!
We practiced traditional yoga poses with a twist, like plank with our hands on the mat, but our feet suspended in the fabric, and downward facing with the fabric wrapped around our hips to take the pressure off the hands and feet; but, my favorite poses by far were the inversions. While I love a good, grounded headstand or handstand, it’s amazing how it feels to take the physical effort out of it, and just hang freely. I felt my spine gently stretching, and I swear when I stood up after class, I was at least ½ an inch taller.
Ready to turn your world upside down? Check out an Aerial Yoga class near you. I highly recommend OM Factory Flight School in NYC (shout out to my amazing teacher, Kristina Cubrilo), but classes are offered across the country, even worldwide! So go ahead and flip your perspective.
AUTHOR: Dina Ivas
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