Aerial yoga is the practice of yoga, Pilates and gymnastics inspired movement all while dangling around in a fancy hammock. Sounds like a majestic experience right?! If you're like me you saw Pink at one of her concerts wrapped up in swathes of brightly coloured fabric dangling like a spider and thought..."I could do that!" But if you're also like me and you carry a little more weight around than your average airborne pop star you also thought to yourself "Am I strong enough to support myself?" "How much weight can one of those things support? I don't want any buildings crashing down on top of me!" "Is aerial yoga really for every body?" The short answer is Yes! It is! The long answer is prepare your chubby butt for some bruises and sore bits and a really good time! When I first decided aerial yoga was something I wanted to try this year it was like the universe arranged it magically into my path! A new class was going to be starting at the place I already take my belly dancing and they were having a grand opening/demonstration/Q&A session the following week! There would be aerial yoga, there would be cake and there would be an instructor who just happens to share my name so it seemed rather kismet! I went along to the opening night and watching the demonstrations it really did look like a lot of fun even to someone like me who has a fear of leaving the ground. Seriously, I don't like being picked up, climbing up on step ladders or anything else which means my feet leave the ground so the idea of dangling from a giant silk seemed exciting but daunting. I would definitely recommend if you get a chance to go to an info session or even just call up and ask any questions you have ahead of time it will put your mind at ease. I found that there were different types of aerial yoga on offer depending on your skill level but also classes more suited to those with various injuries, or limitations and for those who are pregnant. It really does seem that there is a version of aerial yoga that can be for nearly every body.
I decided to dive in and signed up to be a part of their very first class and I have to say it was a really interesting and fun experience and I could see myself going back for more of this dangly fun. We started off lying in the silk almost like a little cocoon just to get used to the feeling of being off the ground and learning to trust that the silk will hold you. We then quite quickly got airborne! I was honestly so surprised that in my very first class, not only did I get off the ground I got upside down and not really with too much trouble either! I will say the silks dig in a bit when they are across your pelvic area and i have some rather tender bruises this morning across my hips but I think that's all a part of trying something like this. Obviously the more you weigh the more weight and pressure will be put on various parts of your body so going into that aware that your extra flesh might mean extra pressure when you're hanging from the rafters is a good thing. But having done it I would definitely say if it's something you are considering trying give it a go! The stretching in the spine and hips was fantastic and unlike any stretching I've achieved in other forms of exercise. The inversions really allow for your vertebrae to release in a way that's rather magical.
As a side bar to my busty gals I highly recommend a really good bra or your boobs will likely be in your face a lot and I would wear a tighter fitting top like a crop top or something next time as I wore a t-shirt this time around and it was hanging in my face annoying me a lot so I ended up tying it up in a knot which worked fine but a sports bra type top would have been better. All in all it was a very positive experience and I can't wait to try it again! I would love to year from you guys! Have you tried it? Are you keen to? Done any other dangling activities? Zip lining? Trapeze work? Can you see yourself giving Aerial yoga a go?
If you're in the Geelong region and want to check out the classes I attended you can get in touch with Lexi of Ocean Air Yoga https://oceanairyoga.com.au/
And if you would like to learn a bit more about it you can watch my interview with the instructor here!