When it comes to fitness, it is important to change up your workout routine to give your muscles a new challenge and strengthen some new ones. Being a yoga fanatic, I have been wanting to try aerial yoga for some time! The thought of challenging my yogi skills while being suspended in the air by silks made me want to sign up ASAP!
I gathered up my other yogi besties and we headed off to Lit Life + Yoga in Columbus, OH to put our poses to the test. If you are interested in trying a class or if you want to but are hesitant, I’m going to share with you my experience and tips and tricks to make you soar during your class!
Before The Class
A tip I would like to share right off the bat is to bring your yoga mat! I didn’t know if I would need it or not, but you surprisingly do a lot of floor work for the majority of it. However, if you end up forgetting, they should have extras for you to grab!
You set up your mat directly underneath a silk that is suspended from the ceiling. If you are skeptical about the harnessing of the silks, don’t worry! The instructor informed us that they can hold up to 1,000 pounds, so you don’t have to fear of it suddenly dropping. After you do some warm up stretches on your own and everyone takes their place, the class begins!
The First Part of Class
After some beginning meditation and a couple of cat-cows, we dove right into some intensive core work. Our instructor explained to us that going into the aerial poses will be a lot more easier if your body is already warm and fired up in the core. He led us through a series of altered plank poses which introduced us to our first use of the silks.
We would suspend one of our legs in the silk and take the plank pose like we normally would, but this added elevation made the core work even harder. With options to take a knee or have your leg hover next to the one in the silk, we were all sweating within the first ten minutes.
After rounds of plank variations, we stood up to do some stretches assisted by the silk. We learned how to do a standing hip opener supported by the silk as well as being able to lean on the silk to deepen our back bends. We weren’t even in the air yet, but I was hooked!
The Second Part of Class
Now, the real fun began! It was time to start our first inversions suspended by the silks! Yes, I was terrified at first. The instructor first demonstrated the steps of how to get yourself into inverted frog pose (see picture below), and then said he would come around and assist us one-by-one to catch us if we fell.
Having that safety net gave me the courage to free-fall back into the silk and let my legs over my head to catch me! I felt so accomplished that I had achieved my first inversion! The rest of the variations were based off of frog pose, but by the end, I could let go of the silks with both hands and even reach back and grab one of my legs for a nice quad stretch!
After playing around in the air, the best part came- shavasana! During a normal yoga class, shavasana would just consist of you lying on your back on your mat and meditating for a couple of minutes.
In aerial yoga, we extended our silks out to the length of our bodies and laid inside of them! I felt like I was wrapped in a cocoon of zen and mellow vibes. After waking us from our meditation, we said “namaste” and we were sent off!
Tips and Tricks
After experiencing a wonderful first class, I wanted to share a couple of tips to help you prepare for yours!
1.) Bring Water!
I usually don’t bring water to my yoga classes being that they are low cardio, but this class definitely stepped it up a notch, so be sure to have water handy.
2.) Yoga Mat
Going back to a previous point, if you have a yoga mat, make sure to bring it! You will do more floor work than you expect, and if you don’t have on, the studio will definitely have spares.
3.) Listen To Your Body
It is very easy in the silks and new positions to go much deeper into a pose than you would expect, but make sure you are listening to your body. There were a couple of moments where I knew I was on the line of overexerting a leg muscle, so I opted for a variation. If you are unsure of what variation to take, ask your instructor!
4.) Take Breaks From Being Upside Down!
I know, it’s going to be exciting and new, but avoid getting dizzy and even nauseas by taking frequent breaks from being upside down. Trust me, you’ll thank me for this one.
5.) Give It Your All!
Don’t let the fear of not being able to do something or looking stupid to keep you from trying new poses! The studio is such a positive and encouraging environment to begin with, so have fun with it!
Now that I’ve shared my amazing flying experience with aerial yoga, go out and book an aerial yoga class today!