Each Monday (except for this past Monday due to Sandy) for the past month I have been taking an aerial yoga class at Zuja Wellness in Portland.
What is aerial yoga? It looks something like this…
Okay, so maybe that’s circus soleil. But, it is sort of like that…
Aerial yoga uses a circus hammock to help students hold their bodies in traditional yoga poses with their weight being partially or fully supported by the hammock. Aerial yoga revolves around counteracting gravity. By essentially removing the effects of gravity during poses, one can elongate the spine and straighten the shoulders “better.” The few inches in the air removes a lot of tension that is placed on the bones and muscles, which can increase flexibility and allow students to get deeper into poses.
In a nutshell, it’s freaking awesome! Who doesn’t want to swing around in a hammock upside now?! But, in all seriousness, it is an awesome experience. My back feels amazing after each class. Zuja runs the classes in a 4-week block with each class building upon the other. I was definitely a bit nervous my first class because I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought for sure I was going to be the dingbat that fell out of the hammock. No one fell! Thank goodness.
The first time we did an inversion was an interesting experience. I definitely got the “blood rush to the head” and “I’m going to be sick” feeling. All you had to do was just put your hands on the ground or on top of your head and you did feel better. The second time around was much better. During the third class we got to learn how to exit the hammock (or silks) backwards by essentially doing a backflip! It was super cool and I certainly felt like I was 5 years old again.
You can watch this video from one of the local news station to get a feel of what the class is like…
And I totally want to purchase my own hammock now and just hang from the rafters (not that I have rafters at home)! The best part of class is at the end when you just lay in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) in the hammock. I could definitely fall asleep in it! If you get a chance to try a class then I highly suggest it! You really will feel much better after class and plus it’s lots of fun!
~ Happy Training!