Monday, September 19, 2011

My First Aerial Yoga Experience

Today I attended my first aerial yoga class.  I have always been one to advocate exploring the endless possibilities of supplemental workouts-(supplemental as in regards to pole dancing being your primary workout.) Pole dancing is a total body workout.  It's important to explore other workouts to integrate a specific focus in order to condition your body's muscles differently and introduce new movements.  With supplemental workouts, you get the opportunity to work on strengthening areas you may feel are your weaknesses as well as give you a break from the pole and allowing you to awaken a fresh creative dance energy.  Adding a new supplemental workout also teaches you something new to incorporate into your routines.  Pole dancing is a not only a workout, it's a journey of constant learning.  Learning about yourself mentally and physically.

I got to attend a free hula hooping workshop a couple weeks ago and when I walked into the studio where the hooping event was taking place, I discovered silk rigging suspended from the ceiling.  This peaked my interest and a week later I signed up for my first aerial yoga class. The rigging used is what is known as a silk hammock.  The hammock acts as a cocoon to your body in certain maneuvers.  I found the class to range from being easy to strenuous, depending on your level of experience with other forms of working out.  The workout was focused on upper body and core strength.  There were moments where my muscles were shaking as I felt comfortable enough to allow myself to push my limits.  (I'd always been told shaking muscles are good so I figure I must have gotten a great workout!)  I thoroughly enjoyed taking my normal stretches and suspending them in the air for more intense variations of the stretches.  I even got to invert and utilize the silks for handstands or just hanging upside down in an inverted straddle.  My lesson was one on one due to last minute cancellations so I got a lot out of my class time.  This allowed me to fully explore the silks and concentrate on properly executing the various positions.  Overall, I'd highly recommend trying aerial yoga.  I felt like it brought my flexibility training to a different level and I look forward to attending future classes.

-Photo Courtesy of Mindful Movement Studio in Indianapolis, Indiana. The above image is the hammock rigging utilized during my class at Mindful Movement Studio

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