I hate yoga. It’s boring.
Breath in, strike a pose, breath out, hold the pose, breath in, change the pose, breath out…
The names of the poses kind of crack me up, though. Downward facing dog. Feathered peacock. Cobra. Child’s pose. And then there’s my personal favorite—the warrior pose. I can just picture Mel Gibson’s blue-faced, wild-haired William Wallace character in Braveheart yelling to his army “OK, men, breath in, warrior pose, breath out, hold, look up, and inhale!” as their opponents charged at them.
Although I like variety in my workouts, I’ve avoided yoga classes like the plague. Curiosity got the best of me, however, when my favorite fitness studio, No Excuses Fitness by Kelly, began offering aerial yoga classes.Be afraid, be very afraid. These Fitness Chicks are in the warrior pose.
That’s right, yoga has taken flight. Supposedly, even if you don’t like regular yoga, you’ll like the aerial version. That’s what the studio’s owner kept telling us, anyway.
Aerial yoga incorporates “silks” or fabric slings that are hung from the ceiling to help participants achieve traditional yoga poses. The silks hold your body weight in some of the poses, enabling you to swing, invert, and isolate muscle groups.
“Don’t worry,” our instructor said before class started. “These silks are rated to hold up to 1000 pounds.”
I’d been wondering if they could withstand the weight of my “womanly curves.”
At first we used the silks minimally and mostly for some general stretching exercises. I found them helpful in maintaining balance—always a challenge for me. Then, gradually, we began to incorporate them into more complicated yoga poses.The silks supported our weight easily.
She instructed us to fan out the silks behind us and gather a portion into our hands. After we had sufficient fabric in our hands, she told us to push down on the gathered fabric while lightly jumping up and back into a sitting position within the silk. It sounds more complicated than it actually is and the end result was that the silk now served as a very comfortable swing.
Then she told us to stretch out the gathered fabric and lay back in the silk so that our entire body was supported by it.
No problem. I could use a nap.Nap time!
This is where things started to get interesting.
From our prone position within the silk, she told us to raise our legs so that the bottoms of our feet were pointed toward the ceiling. This much I could do. Then she told us to lower our legs toward our heads and use our abdominal muscles to bring our butts up. The result was supposed to be a full inversion so that our badonkadonks were above our heads.They made it look so easy.
Well, I tried, but this Chick’s badonkadonk just did not want to cooperate.
“Use your abs!” she instructed.
“I am!” I replied. “I think my stomach is too big!”
I could not invert. Stupid abs. Stupid stomach. Stupid badonkadonk.
None of the other Fitness Chicks had any problem with this move.
Fortunately, there were plenty of other poses in this aerial yoga class that I could do. And there were some that I could not. Regardless, I felt like I got a good workout from it. Those yoga poses require you to use a lot of muscles, with or without the silks.Your’s truly did not attempt this pose.
A few Fitness Chicks have complained of feeling lightheaded or a bit nauseous during aerial yoga class, while others experienced no problems whatsoever. Due to allergies and frequent inner ear imbalances, I expected to have a problem with the swinging motion of the silks and was pleasantly surprised that this did not bother me at all. I know my limits, however, and did not attempt a few of the poses that I thought might affect my equilibrium. This was not a problem, as many of the poses can be modified to adjust for individual needs.This is a strong group of Fitness Chicks.
I hate yoga—traditional yoga, that is. It’s boring.
Aerial yoga, on the other hand, is kind of fun.